Inner Harbor, September ’06:
“We’re not gonna work, are we?” She said.
I left the silence to answer. The emptiness curled into a heap of invisible ash as we sat on a bench and watched the sun race away from us. Our embrace was thick with the sad knowledge of a chapter’s end- the reading of a story whose happiness is lost to the death of words. Our breaths were deep and willing places and the heat of our clench was not simply a respite but a necessary store whose memory would provide some warmth for the tomorrow which had gotten lost.
I’m not sure how long we sat on the bench. Could have been five minutes, maybe an hour. It was as if we had somehow lost the value of time inside the spiraling cosmos. Clocks were like calendars . . were like pictures of a day left spent and useless inside a framed cage. Our million miles worth of string now broken, the flood of memories escaping from their quarters in galloping snippets of inappropriate candor. We were orphans to the promises once made, strangers to the light it once allowed us to walk on.
We moved from the bench, no longer hand in hand. Separating. We walked along this way, borrowing from the fractured moments of our shared afternoon. Lovers gone serious, as if children without training wheels to forge their make believe. It seemed as if all the conversations surrounding us were drunk on laughter and hope. As if the whole world was finding love, except for the space of our empty arms. My brain spun with the idea that I would never take the crazy chance again. What was the use of falling in love when the end leaves you screaming in silence and alone to the mornings?
The poisonous entreaties of low hanging fruit make a bloody mess of things on your innards, and I didn’t care. I ate from the bitter, the angry, the confused and the fearful. I ate until my stomach was ready to give up.
The night had lost its charm. The romance of its arms had gone cold to chance and fate and destiny as if the performance had been of smoke and mirrors. The night was no longer a place to get lost inside of, but a utility to be consumed in properly recorded minutes. I would fill its ledger with smoking, drinking, crying and then with doing it all over again. I would kill the phone and loose the most depressing songs from their burdensome nest. I would think on how she was going somewhere else and I was going to have the left side of the bed to ponder on.
And then I grabbed her hand, despite the absurd failure of it all. And then she grabbed mine back, as if in agreement with the end but insistent on spelling it differently. And then we rearranged the final moments as if pieces of a car wreck too plentiful to jigsaw into working ever again as the moon crept in for its long and brilliant weep.