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Friday, August 16, 2013

Stuck in the eddy

October 12, 1980

It grows late.
The gray clouds are dusted with pink cheeks.
The water moves slowly and sloshed against the shore with a very laid back beat.
The leaves seem to reflect the sky, rubbing together in the soft breeze before they fly away, or float down onto the surface of the water for their long pilgrimage to the sea. Some cling to the fallen tree trunks that gather in these wandering sheep like herders, creating a strange quilt that will soon be shrouded by winter.
I’m here, alone, afraid to go back to my own apartment, afraid of the ghosts that haunt that place, the little pieces of woman I love scattered in every corner, and yet the walls seem unable to contain the reality of her, and so the place seems empty and overly full at the same time, echoing with my voice, by breathing, my every move – even the patter of my racing heart.
I feel the beat in my throat and croak with it like a frog, feeling no shame or pride.
Thoughts come into my head I do not want to think, some how connected to the pain in my belly – the gnawing of some beast I’ve swallowed at some point in the past that has picked this particular time to want out.
So I come out here with everything seems alive, and where I am far enough away from a phone I know will not ring but I want to, and I fight the temptation of calling her.
She would be kind, I know, and courteous, at least this time, and will listen to my talk, but won’t do more than say a few simple words, none of which are the ones I would want to hear, how much she still cares, and how much she wants me to care for her.
Even here, I feel her loss, the sun sinking and me thinking she had taken it away with her.
This is not to say she’s wrong. I deserve what I got. It always does.
Suddenly, I hear the splash of water as a silver fish flips, rippling the still part of the river surface, disturbing it forever.
There is no escaping the impact as the water licks the land and disturbs yet more leaves and bits of dust so that somehow more leaves fall from the trees above, not apples, but proving well enough Newton’s Third Law.
I am baptized with leaves as I sit in this holy place, and pray that my sins are forgiven.
But Newton’s law isn’t the only one of action-and-reaction, and I feel my karma swirl up over me, and I ache to escape, telling myself I didn’t try hard enough, I didn’t say enough or do enough or listen enough, and now I draw comfort from the water which somehow manages to flow out from under its fate, taking things to places I cannot see, and for a time, just the briefest moment, I wonder if this river will also take me. But fate is not kind, and I know I will like some of the leaves, will settle into another eddy, and swirl around in it, like I have in the one I am already in, and I will once more become haunted by ghosts, even here in the wide open where everything seems almost perfect – everything, except for me.

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