I’ve had far too many strange experiences lately and a few too many cold ones tonight and with that I give you a small excerpt from my book Garbage, which I am in the process of editing and sending out to literary agents within the next few weeks.
A little context for the perplexed; a young magazine editor has suffered a bit of a nervous breakdown and has moved to the suburbs where he resorts to hanging out with his drug dealing friend. Through the course of the night he reminisces about a love he lost that he supposes might have been the one.
So we began walking aimlessly around the neighborhood sticking to the sides of the road stepping on pieces of discarded trash and piles of repugnant rotting cut grass. The occasional car whizzing past us bringing with it a slight breeze and the stench of smoke. Their red taillights becoming small ruby constellations on the horizon before disappearing altogether. A chill wind blew through me and I began rubbing my arms to keep them warm and ease my goose bumps. Longingly my gaze stared upward toward the night sky and small pinpricks in the black blanket enveloping the Earth winked back at me.
I was somewhere else.
Like I always am.
The bitter sweet smell of the thick humid salty air gently stung the insides of my nose. The sand had conformed to the shape of my body and I had comfortably sunk into it. The dunes had taken a hold of me and embraced me in their coarse arms. Nestled serenely on the side of an embankment, the neon and bright fluorescent lights of the bustling city behind us illuminated the sand in front of us in shades of red and green. The wind blew at our faces gently and with it brought the distant rumble of cars on the highway, the occasional giggle of some blissful couple afraid of being caught, or the playful chiding of some beach rat adolescents. Looking out at the horizon, the ocean which was now a jet black, churned softly beneath itself before crashing down on the beach in frothy white foam. I could easily fall asleep to this.
Two luminous white moons shimmered at us in the distance, one real, one a reflection. Lying on our backs looking upward at the sky, the scope and grandeur of everything was nearly overwhelming and almost beyond comprehension. Tiny holes pin pricked in the black canvas canopy of the sky winked at us alluringly and vague outlines of mythological heroes shined through. But perhaps it was just our minds. The unbelievable depth of the darkness, of the unfathomable blackness was enough to drive a man insane. The sheer thought of the distance frightened the limited capabilities of the human mind. Millions upon millions of miles and years of travel, eons and entire life spans would be wasted and still you wouldn’t even be close to reaching any of those tiny lights in the sky. It was so unbelievably infantile and futile.
I look down to the warm curled form cuddled beside me. Her face was nestled tightly against my chest and her head heaved up and down gently with each of my long breaths. I looked down at Her adoringly and pressed my lips against her dark brown hair. I stayed there for a slight moment while I smelt the intoxicating scent of her hair. Some sort of lavender shampoo. I pulled my lips away and she gently craned her face upward to meet my longing gaze. Her hazel almond shaped eyes stared deeply into mine. A slow endearing smile crept across her round face and I could feel this indescribable warmth from within my chest begin to radiate. Her perfect butter pecan skin had now turned a rosy red as she began to blush. I smiled back at her as she pulled her head back toward my chest and continued to star dreamily out toward the horizon.
I closed my eyes for a moment, taking in the immaculate serenity.
She pressed her head closer toward my chest and inhaled suddenly.
“Please, hold me closer” She requested with a slight tremor in her voice. I obliged.
“No, not like that. Hold me really close.” I obliged and squeezed her even tighter toward me. The heat in my chest came to a searing climax. I never liked to admit it, especially not now but I sincerely loved Her.
“Are you okay?” I asked her. Tucked beside me, she continued to stare upward in a daze toward the sky.
“Yes. I just got this crazy insane thought.”
“Oh yeah? I’m pretty good with crazy insane thoughts. What was it?”
“It’s stupid. I don’t want to say.”
“Come on. Tell me.” I gently placed two fingers beneath her jaw and craned her face up toward me. She rolled her eyes and exhaled in embarrassment.
“I just had this crazy idea. This idea that maybe, just maybe if you weren’t holding onto me that I would float up into the sky. That I would get lost up there in the stars.” I smiled and chuckled silently to myself at her and she furrowed her brow in chagrin.
“As long as I’m holding onto you, I’ll never lose you.” I pulled her face up toward mine and gently craned my head forward. Our eyes slowly closing as our lips came closer and closer together. Her lush warm lips pressed gently against mine and for a moment in time I lost myself in Her.
I was always losing myself in Her.
“Please, stop crying. I can’t listen to you cry.”
“I can’t help it.”
The moment was gone.
Suddenly the warmth in my chest had faded, lulled and suddenly turned into a maelstrom of mixed emotions. The coldness of the evening had begun to sink in.
I let the wheel go that one night. The night I crushed my nose.
I wish I could stay in that bedroom with you forever.
But I didn’t. And I can’t. So like a romantic vagabond, I am forced to just endlessly wander homelessly through these memories. These fleeting memories that I am starting to lose. The small miniscule details begin to fade and get worn.
Sometimes when I think really hard I can’t make out the specifics of her face. The tiny little birthmarks or freckles or the small barely noticeable scars. The quirks and nuances of her personality sometimes escape me and I can’t decide if what I’m remembering is just a perfect projection of her memory instead of the actual one. Was my mind filling in the blanks about her that were rapidly growing as the years amounted? Was what I was actually remembering the truth or the truth that my mind wanted to accept? Did I choose to remember her as celestial without her imperfections? Or did she not have any?
I grow increasingly frightened and unsettled of a time when I’ll no longer be able to remember anything. Of a time when Her image just becomes a series of muddled images and descriptive words.
The memories come fleeting sometimes. The faint glimmer of a smile, the gentle smell of perfume that makes my head turn in déjà vu as I wander the streets, the longing touch of my fingers tracing her soft skin. They all flash in my synapses like small suns exploding in the cosmos and then gently fade away to nothingness. Can I retain them? Can I bottle up the scattered star dust of her soul and carry it with me like fire fles in a canning jar?”
So, what do you think? Long lost love.