Bent Words

Bent Words

July 10, 2008

I woke up reaching.

I never wake up reaching.

Reaching for something -- someone -- who isn't there.

You asked me if I were free. I had to double check the number, the message, the voice on the recording, the time when it was left. I had to stop trembling and wishing myself awake to end the falsity that this must be, pacing and questioning the clock, wondering and hoping I looked okay.

When I called you back you sounded nervous, hesitant, misunderstood. You knew it was out of the blue, you said, you knew it was kind of inappropriate to assume. I said I was free, I said it was okay, not inappropriate, I said that you could come over and you said you were already here, waiting. Waiting for an answer.

"Keep it dark. Real dark."

I didn't ask why.

You walked through the door and I nearly fell backwards. I said hi, I think and then I thought I was going to wake, sweating, fiddling with my alarm. Rudely interrupted by my own words to no one but a memory. But it all continued on.

You walked directly to my living room floor, dropped a few pillows on the ground and set down the six-pack next to you as though it was your routine -- as though you were settled. You looked up at me, inviting me to settle, too, as though it were my routine. I wanted to say a thousand things besides hi for the second time.

I wanted to say that I could see you and you were you, for it was the only thing that I could say that only you would fully understand. I wanted to say that you were brilliant and that you freakin' walked the same, that you didn't surprise me with your beauty for I have mingled with it every day but that you did shock me with your presence. I wanted to lean in closer... but I decided to let you drive.

You were quiet and you needed that. You needed not to hear my rambling words but feel my tumbling emotions. You needed to feel perfect and alive, adored and recognized, completely trusted and exquisitely exalted, separated from your illness and regarded for your triumphs. Understood as you were once interpreted, remembered as you once were, looked upon as a person instead of a 'miracle.' You wanted to be what it was you were and you knew that I would be the only one who could successfully mix the two -- the humble, hard working heart full of imperfections and the miracle on legs who everyone longs to behold.

I never stopped seeing what you saw -- seeing right through and into you. Or trying to, at least.

Eventually, after two beers and more than a few moments of silence, you leaned in toward me. I thought I sounded crazy but you didn't regard me so -- I said that I knew exactly how you smelled, though I thought I had forgotten.

"I remember you," I said.

And I leaned in, too.

I remembered the width of your neck with my lips, the soft drip of your ear and the hardened clasp of your jaw. I remembered the strength of your forearms and the slide right down to your wrists. I remembered the rough of your palms and metallic scent of your fingertips as my own glided gently over. I remembered the stature of your shoulders. I remembered the thickness of your lips with my thumb, the exhale of your inviting breath and the searching integrity of your eyes. I remembered it all with a silent awe and a crisp clarity that perhaps should not have been. But there I was, as simple and as truthful as I've ever been -- taking it all in with relishing care. And there we fell into each other arms; returning, remembering, relishing, reliving.

Or just living as though we had not lived apart for so long.

That was the miracle. The reality we energized each other with, the focus we held for moments upon moments on end, the captivating silence we spoke volumes through, the eternity we never denied. That familiar space, that childhood memory, that safe and secure place, though we may have been divided from it for years, we returned to it as though it were yesterday. We never let go because it was never worth letting go of, walking away from, or forgetting. We remembered.

We reached out, through unfathomable distances, and found each other.

Written at 11:42 p.m.