You might consider this the line I’ve been afraid to drop you, since it would surely break like the silence between us. So allow me to gently hand it over, like a fragile gift, something I’ve been keeping for a day that likely will never come. But time, as we’ve sorely learned, is an equally delicate gift that can shatter and be swept away into the dustbin of the forgotten or swept up into the treasure chest of remembrance. I’ve crawled into and out of both in search of the times and lines I’ve lost, wishing I’d held yours more carefully.
Hello, blank page. I see you’re the same as yesterday, so there’s no need to ask. Me, I’m pretty much the same, too. Tired and sad. Worried and a little angry. The first three are my normal. The last one I don’t do so well. So, page, sorry for heaping all those dry words on your head, like they were the dead leaves taunting me from the yard. But then, let’s face it, you’re taunting me, too, winking at me with that curser eye of yours. Listen, page, as I whisper-click this chain of subject-predicate-decorative embellishment upon your once-pristine get-up of faux white in even phonier black. Perhaps I should remind you again of the red and yellow wardrobe the trees have doffed onto the bottle green outside. Gotta go, page. Nice talk. Those leaves won’t collect themselves without me, just as these words wouldn’t without you. I can’t say you look any better than when we started, but I felt better while we communed. Molte grazie! BTW, you look like someone I used to know. Later! (I hope.) Desperately uninspired times call for crazily inspired measures...like talking to a blank page and hoping something comes from that one-sided conversation. Unfortunately, nothing did, other than two old warriors chopping it up for twenty minutes of semi-creative therapy and poetic graffiti.
Whenever that music starts, my vision clouds and my mind projects a different image before me. I try ignoring it, but my focus on the imagined more often than not supersedes that which is right in front of me. Not so bad when I’m at my leisure, but at the wheel of a speeding car it can be unfortunate and unwise. As if I have a choice when the music moves from my ears to my eyes. And when the last strains of the song fade into the first of the next, I wonder how I got from there to here. No, not from mile marker 12 to 16. Too often, I look for the answer assisted by a memory as full of skips and repeats as an old LP played over the highway’s tarstrip heartbeat. 14, 15, 14, 15… 14 years, 15 years… Exit ahead. Here I am. Again. Still.
On those autumn rainy days, by the river is where I walked with only my thoughts — irritants more than companions. They would dampen my trek more than the gentle spritz of lisping meteorological sibilance. And then those old wondering if-only’s and pondering damn-it’s would sidle up to me like panhandlers who wouldn’t take “Sorry” for an answer. I never tossed my two cents into their jingle-less cups. I had fewer answers than I had ready change for a dollar or five. No, I tucked my head deeper between my shoulders and looked to the Hudson for advice. But the river just kept running by, southbound, constant, always listening, never saying much more than the faintest whisper, never suffering fools who argued with themselves in the rain over waters long ago crossed beneath the bridge. That wise old river.
I wonder too much about someone else’s present, who may happen to be part of my past. This might have something to do with the fact I'll never have too bright a future to consider. The funny part of all this remains that the only time I’m “present” is when I’m chronicling these expeditions into a past that’s fictitious at best and that other present which is not my own. It’s my sole claim to mindfulness and I’m only borrowing it. Well, stealing it. But only for the hour that I touch these keys, leaving fingerprints on your present …tomorrow.
I’ve broken so many of my promises to you. In all honesty, I didn’t mean to. I hope you didn’t think I broke them because they have all been lies. I’ve never been able to keep a lie very well, either. You need a good memory to be a competent liar. And that is a talent I lost through years of falling and breaking myself, like a promise. In the end, what does it matter the promises one makes or the one’s one cannot keep? A promise is but a wish not yet fulfilled. Kind of like all those you wished I’d never made and all the ones I wished you had. I’ve learned the unfortunate lesson life’s too short to make many promises and it’s too long to tell many lies. All either do is let you down. Just like me.