Posted by Hello
One moment I am perusing the internet. Another model gallery. Searching for a set of pictures that I can add to the collection. My justification is that will somehow become a better photographer if I can gather a collection of photographs that represent the concepts I want to convey.

The next moment, there is a sort of odd shift, and I am somewhere else.

I am being driven home from a party. I'm in the passenger seat of my little brother's car. Kid is sitting directly behind me.

The semester (and the school year) is ending, there is perhaps maybe a month left to go. It was a good party. Everyone was tired, but we laughed and played games and watched movies. But the three of us--me, blue, and kid--are going home a bit early before the movies get started and the tone in the car is decidedly melancholy. In a room full of cheerful extroverts, we three are those who leave such places more tired than when we arrived, and the mood inside the Blue's little Neon is quiet like the first autumn day when the leaves finally admit that they can stop fighting and let winter take them.

A light drizzle has begun and is supressing both traffic and sound, making it feel as if we are an island of humanity traversing a great empty space. None of us feel the need to talk too much. A small amount of running patter fills the space well enough, but none of us need it filled to bursting.

Externally, I am absorbing the silence and the unity of our little band of three and it is soothing and restful for me. Internally, I am fighting with my self, and with my plans. Kid is a project of mine. I'm not sure why (thirteen months later it will occur to me that she spoke my love language fluently and it was shaking the foundations of my world--but at the time I didn't know that). I am the reason she came with Blue and me to the party. And after a fashion, I know I am a project of hers. We have much in common, and we want to be close. There are complications though. She's currently tending to the end of an awkward one-sided breakup. I'm still nursing a fragile long distance relationship almost a year old.

Confusing matters further is the fact that when the month is out I will walk across a stage and take in my hand a piece of paper that will motivate my move away from this town, and Kid is just finishing her first of four years in this school. Though we're only 2 years apart in age, the academic and social gulf that our culture forces upon us is astounding. Complicating matters more is Blue's singleness, and the fact that he's attracted to Kid. I don't blame him, but I know, deep down, that he and Kid would never work out--they'd never even get started. And I know more than that. I know that Kid and I will happen. I can see it in my mind's eye as clearly as if it were a memory and not a prediction.

I am slouched in the seat. Resting my head in my right hand with my elbow propped on the armrest, and watching the rain and other cars drift by like steamers lost in a fog at sea. When her hand right hand finds mine in the darkness of the car it is shocking but not surprising. The electricity of touch is captivating and tantalizing--moreso because it is surreptitious. Her fingers find my hand and the side of my neck. It isn't a caress, but it isn't just a touch either. They are searching for feedback. . . searching for a yes. I think about the touch, and consider pulling my hand down, sitting up and shifting so she loses contact, but I cannot bring myself to move. Somehow my fingertips brush against her hand as the mist massages the images filtering through the windows, and I let the touch linger long enough to confirm that it is voluntary, then remove my hand, letting my body language betray nothing to Blue.

I don't want to hurt him, and I don't know how to say everything that needs to be said. I let her touch remain, and we have a conversation. I don't know how, in retrospect, we did so. Low voices perhaps, but sometimes I wonder if perhaps a temporary telepathic ability was provided to us by some means I don't understand. I speak first.

"It isn't right. There are too many factors. There is another."

"I know. But this isn't about factors. This is about you and I. I need to know that something could happen, if things were different."

"I need that too. But things aren't different. What good will it do?"

"It could serve as reassurance. As hope for something undiscovered until now. Just knowing that there is another like me means I may find him again someday."

"I understand. Do not let go."

So we ride for a time. As we near campus positions change, the touch is broken and the conversation ebbs and flows through the normal patterns that it shares among those with little to say in the aftermath of a social maelstrom.

And now the image fractures and fades and I am back at my desk, and fourteen months have passed. Pedro the Lion's Bad Diary Day's begins to chide me, a scolding reminder that I was the one who cheated on another who needed me. And I begin to doubt the memory. Was it real? Did I dream it?

But in my mind I cannot deny the real-ness of the moment, even if I doubt its factual truth. This simple memory is as devious as it is brilliant, sneaking to the forefront of my mind when I least expected it to resurface. What am I to do with such a damning reminder that I left behind what could have been for my practical realization of what is, and what will always be?

I am to share it. To make clear to those around me the fate of one who choses poorly. "Look well, O Wolves."

Thursday, June 09, 2005


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