April 14, 2014

How do I touch you, without touching you?

It’s over.

It’s hard to know when something is over, without a beginning.

The day started out like any other day, ordinary.  I wrote, I read, I went out to play, just like any other ordinary day.

I didn't know how small or how large a part I would play, but we found each other, and we played with words, around her life and in mine.  Soundlessly lurking, that’s how it was to be, for her, not for me.  Words came easy, and then got hard from experimenting with taboos, my guess.  I said, “I love you.” 

She leaned the umbrella of words in front of the sun, blocking out the rays, a shadow crossed her face.  I leaned in and pulled back the umbrella to pick up my words from across the arc, the static was palpable.  I needed to see clearly those eyes her pictures revealed, only her eyes could tell a truth she so cleverly hid with the manipulation of her umbrella.  She needed to maintain, she said, a distance from the sun.  I experimented with speaking the truth, at least truth as I perceived, but it was not how she saw it.

I sheltered my words against a wall, the wall she leaned against from her side, balance is what was between us, a solid wall of balance and shelter and protection and shadows to hide beside.   When my words got too close, the wall grew higher, when I shortened my words, the shadow receded and I could catch a glimpse, just a fraction of a nose, a forehead, a chin, and even an eye on occasion.

Experimentation grew forced, I couldn't keep it up, for wanting to see her whole face.  I was tired, I was weary, and I was frustrated knowing there was a whole face behind that hiding place.  I knew it was wrong for me to head into that space, but I was overwhelmed with a feeling I couldn't fathom as real.  I needed to find realness somehow, someway, someday.

She wasn't receptive, she found me critical and offensive, attacking her sensibilities, her norm, her quiet time, her aloneness, her cultivated art.  I wanted to change all of that, the stupid being that I am; why couldn't I just be satisfied to lurk in the way she did?  Impatience comes with my territory.  

I am sorry for my honesty with my words. Perception is everything.  Experimentation without perception becomes a danger zone.  We never established what the word friendship meant to either of us.  The deep connection, as she said, was there.  But what does that mean when two people can’t build on that connection?  It is too deep to delve, too deep to unearth, is it as deep as Murakami’s well he put his character in, that god awful well, the solitude that nothing else can describe, I felt it, yes, I know it.

Can I change who I am to meet the needs of someone else, when I really don't know what those needs are unless they become revealed?  Or is it another’s responsibility to bend the umbrella back a bit and let a ray shine into the daylight hours, or is it to be two people who climb the wall at the same time, rock by rock, one stone at a time, again and again; crawling with only bloody stumps; fingers left behind, leaving a swath of stain that marks the very spot two people gave into the disastrous place of letting go and refusing entry.

“I'm fucking sorry”, she said.

I pivot around and take in a glimpse of daylight on my side of the wall, but when I look up I see a black cloud above my head, so black I can’t recognize where the wall is any longer.  I cry for that wall, for the prints our fingers left upon each stone.  I cry for the moments I lost while hunting and not finding; for looking and not seeing, for searching by day and by night, only finding a closed umbrella and no one standing there.

I cry with that empty feeling in my gut, my throat closes, the water in my eyes stream down and fall onto my chest, my breast, my belly, my lap.  I can’t see for the loss that is in front of me.  I can no longer see what it is I was trying to find.  I can not longer see for the dark shadows that now cover my heart. 

I lost.  I experimented, I searched, I dug into that well, and I lost; the light, the only way to find an opening was through the light.  I plunged into darkness, the hell that seizes the muscles, the pain beneath the layers of skin of holy need.  I was no longer needed.  Plain and simple:  She didn't need me.

I died a death that day, there was no turning; neither front nor sideways, not to the left, nor to the right; no amount of pleading would work, for she shut the door soundly, and the window and the curtain, she shut every avenue I could walk down.  I stood.  I stood in the dark, and that’s where I remain.

No compromise - No middle ground - No mediation - Non existent.

I thought about butterflies today. I thought about how beautiful they are; I thought how beautiful my once upon a time friend was to me, once upon a time.  I thought about how these delicate wings try so hard to keep a body floating up in the air.  I thought of her.

I wondered at the human balance.  Whatever that balance was, I lost that balance in a few hard truthful words - I upset her balance; a teeter-totter balance that was difficult to maintain – I caused her to fall because of the weight of me.  I can only enter into a butterfly's world by watching from afar, I cannot touch, I can only tearfully watch, for if I touch a wing, the butterfly will surely die, and so will I.


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