Bent Words

Bent Words

June 03, 2009

*** JUNE 3 2008 ***

I had this dream…

We were sitting side by side upon a hill at Elkhart Lake, each of us with our legs sprawled out before us, our hands spread flat in the grass behind our backs, our chins tipped up following the line of clouds which slowly swallowed up the moon and stars. No longer could we see our feet, let alone each other, and yet there was nothing lost in our perception of one another’s presence. He could still see the breeze catching my hair and I could still see his hand, so close to my own, half hidden by our verdant surroundings.

For all the chaos springing up at the tents and trailers and campers below us – the usual for a Saturday night – it was quiet where we were. The occasional screams, the bursts of laughter, the heightened frenzy of the weekend brushed over us lightly and very briefly until we were accustomed enough that it no longer mattered. All that we really registered was each other.

Next to him was a bag full of provisions and I listened to the hiss, pop! of another Miller Light followed by the familiar deep gulp that I never would have expected to recall at a time like this. I felt the smile spread and the conflicting tears burn. For once, it wasn’t a moment sprung upon me like a wicked memory whisked away – it was the present state of things and all I had to do was bask in its glory. It was real time, all mine and all his, and we were both completely aware of it all. For once, I didn’t have to wonder if he was thinking about me for I could feel it stir within the air we shared when he turned his head to look at me.

Though I could only physically see the outline of his face, I knew exactly the expression staring back at me. I knew exactly the shade of blue hiding behind the darkness, I knew precisely how his mouth would conform to the nervousness within his soul and I knew without a single doubt how the shape of his hand would feel in my own for it was all locked tightly away within each and every one of my senses. Despite the days, the weeks, the months, the years – despite the very emptiness of it all – of trying to escape the exactness of him, I never could. I knew it just then that the key to such a freedom was one I never longed to find. No matter how necessary it became.

Then there was the absolute explosion.

It was not the stray firework or two from the rowdy bunch below nor was it the pop of a tire from an exhausted burnout in the distance. It was my chest, filling full, racing against the darkness, sparked with more energy than a two-stroke coming to life.

It was the moment when his hand found mine.

My body has never forgotten. And how could it? His eyes, his touch, his voice, his laughter, his heart have never failed to affect my every sense. As though all I ever needed was that single flick of the flame, that simple catch, that mere glance – just one touch – that’s all it took to set me silly. Just him.

I sat straight up in bed expecting to find him sitting next to me, legs sprawled out with a hand entwined in mine, the darkness shielding us from whatever it was that others thought was right or wrong or unexpected. I sat straight up and realized my breath was caught within that strict illusion. I exhaled, long and excitedly, ready for more but not daring to request such a second showing.

It was the middle of the night. It was mere hours before I had to begin the day. It was too late to react – but I could do nothing but. Still wrapped in sleep, I disconnected the trickle charger from the small battery on my kitchen counter and grabbed the pink ratchet tool he bought for me ages ago and tottered down the stairs to my storage locker on the first floor. I fought with my elation and tried to dampen my expectations but it was all too late – I had it clearly written across my face as though hope came in colors.

It had been exactly a year since I ran the old Honda scooter last. It was at Road America, one year ago, and surely it was not intended to sit for so long without stabilizer mingled with the fuel – surely she would not start. Surely nothing as real as my dream, only a few moments before, would ever come true – it was too fantastic to even consider – wasn’t it?

But if the scooter runs, if I have a pit bike, if I don’t have to spring for a carb clean, if I can do this one small thing – well that’s just fate. It means I have to go. It means that it was meant to be. It means, Road America, here I come.

“If you don’t go, little scoot, I won’t go either.”

I connected the battery, held the brake, hit the starter and looked up with a sigh.

Within moments, she was growling and the room was filled with the sweet scent of race gas leftover from last year and I felt like I was still dreaming.

Race gas = good.

Though the dream may not come true, guess who’s going to Road America?

Written at 8:11 p.m.