Moving is hard when you don’t do it every two years. I have to let go of all sorts of objects and feelings as I pack boxes. I find and read old poems and writings, carefully hidden from… whose eyes, I ask you? No one lives here but me. Some of it is painful but most of it is wistful and feels like unfinished business. So, I am completing circles and bubbles, setting them free to float away where all wishes go to rest.
There is no point in holding on to echoes of dreams; bad enough that their shadows float up in a sea of wasted time. You know, those fleeting moments, when a flutter stirs up an image or a whisper of something that could have been, but never was, lost between dream and illusion.
You know by now, that the one that got away is the one you wanted, needed, and the right one. Hell, most of literature dances to that theme.
Because you listened when there was just the two of us behind a closed door, no distractions, while I poured out my conflicted, messed up, injured heart to you, along with thoughts I dared not voice anywhere else; because you did not laugh; because you hugged me in compassion and I breathed in your scent, I grew to want more. But of course it couldn’t be. You loved beautiful women. I knew that. None the less, the butterflies in my belly lived for the days I met with you.
I read my poems and musings to you when I could not articulate my thoughts. The most I dared hope for was to intrigue, surprise, enchant, and seduce you with my mind (Somewhere in the delusion of hope, I fantasized that if you could just see my soul and the girl hiding in there, you would fall in love with me).
Some days I succeeded in intriguing you, I think, and my reward was a little smile, a tilt of the head to the left, or a shake, with–what was it?Surprise? Disbelief?–something unsaid. That meant love to me; as close as I could ever get.
Then I had to move.
Years later, when serendipity brought you to the library as I was leaving it, almost late for class again, my poor heart lost its rhythm when you opened your arms inviting me to walk right into them.
Sheltered in your wordless embrace, everything stopped. For a moment, there was nothing and nobody but you and me. I should have skipped class and stayed with you. I wanted to. I might have, had I been alone.
I could have been reckless without witnesses; I could have taken a chance on humiliation. I wanted and feared at the same time. You did not say a word, you just smiled a Mother Teresa smile. Didn’t comment on my explanations as to why I couldn’t stay. Let me go without a word, just a smile. I was undone. I could not breathe. So much was left unsaid in between silence and noises.
For days, weeks, months, I hung around the library around the same time, needing to see you again, famished for affection, starved for a touch, teetering on the edge of rationality. And semesters ended.
In truth, I think you probably did not remember my name; your embrace was an act of kindness to a vaguely familiar face. Like touching soap bubbles we occupied two different realities for a while, but I could not reach you.
And so life goes. Slip-sliding away.
I wish you love and serenity.