I’m unsure what pain lies ahead, and I choose not to stand around worrying about it. That’s what makes rollercoasters so frightening - standing there in a long line while time and screams go by. But I can address old pain, the kind where we can set our jaws, maybe even make a small tight grin, and say, “Yeah, it was bad. But I survived.” See how it feels weaker as time and the memory of those painful cries go by? I wish we didn’t have to suffer when there's no one to ride with us as scared, scary life screams, or worse, just stands there, while we pass. I see you bought a ticket, too. Please, give me your hand. I'm afraid this might hurt.
This waiting waiting is killing me, but so might that I’m waiting for. And I’m feeling quite alone again, though with you there, not as much anymore. So I retreat to where alone’s my standard, to bang on this keyboard one more time. Where I speak to you in clicks and moans and, unfortunately, in stupid rhyme. But I’ve gotten further down the page than I did the other five times I tried. At least I killed some waiting time, better those minutes than me that died. And though I wish I could rest next to you or you other than in my mind with me. Perhaps this time I’ve learned to love waiting for nothing to happen. We’ll see.
Remember when we’d lodge complaints with each other about the dark clouds that followed us everywhere, back when all we needed memories for was what time we had to be back, instead of what we might’ve been. There were some sunny days back then, too. Even I can recall squinting at how it pinked your shining cheeks and gave my own nervous flush a glowing alibi of plausible deniability. Recall how the breeze would cast a field of diamonds like miniature suns across the lake's glassy surface? Then it would rustle the leaves, hiding and unveiling the gold dust in your eyes, a magic trick that was no illusion. But it was an illusion I remember best of those shining days, when the sun revealed what we didn’t yet understand. It joined the shadows of our hands in a bond later hidden by those dark clouds and we only grasped once our storms pushed through.
I sit here and imagine what it would be like, the thing I have such trouble imagining. The images come like snippets from a movie or TV show, only I can feel the warmth in them. Or sometimes my imaginings have no visions, only feelings like a faint heartbeat I sense on mine. But it’ll never be. What if I’m merely the hopeful figment of someone else struggling to imagine me in their heart? Maybe that’s why I have such trouble bringing forth what it would be like if only… “If only”s don’t happen when you just hope, even if you did just feel your heart's warmest ever thump-bump. Or so I imagine.
I could tell you stories about the future if I only knew what the future times hold. But my time’s running down, I may not have much future left. So no such stories'll be told. But I can tell you about some of my past, at least what I felt of it way back when. My recall might drift from real to dreamed, so fantasy might be the genre I'll use of then. These remembered stories are built of words strung on these lines like sheets on a rope. But if you really listen, and look between them, you’ll understand my past was lined with hope. These days I remember a face but can't the name, I'll even see it when I detect a certain scent. I feel that warm touch, hear a certain voice, but not know if it's true or what they meant. Right now I’m cradling a picture in front of me in black and white of someone I never knew. Yet the feelings I’m feeling when I look in her eyes are almost the same as those I got from you. So I’ll cherish the image of this beautiful girl even if her name I didn’t know until today. And if tomorrow I might become part of your past, I’ll cherish this present more than I can say.
I can tell this war isn’t over yet, despite swords sheathed and rifles in a stack. I still feel the hot blood pound in my head which they’d gladly sever with a back-turned hack. They've called a truce, a temporary thing, a pause in hostilities until then. What’s then? Do we wait for a bell to ring? No, I’m sure it’ll be them tells us when. The other side’s used to having their way, gives them perverse joy to keep us at war. They’ll keep up an act of good will, then say, enough of this “make nice.” Peace is a bore. Yeah, that’s how it is with this type of foe, a bully, a narcissist or a thug. They sometimes hate themselves, but then, you know, feel better after squishing you like a bug. Hey, for now, maybe they’ll keep that concealed, ‘cause they use charm and lies as weapons, too. When it’s over you can walk off that field. But, just in case, I’ll watch your back when you do. A hush will come on that front of your soul, your wounds will fade like the ink on this rhyme. Like nature reclaims the battle's shell hole, love will bring your scarred heart peace. Love and time.
I’m tapping on your window again, to see if I can come in. It’s a silent knock, unless you’re listening, for me above the din. My rap travels from here to there and there and there to you. And if you hear it, you can decide just what you want to do. I have this habit of telling the truth, it’s hard for me to lie. If you’re reading, you know it’s true, ‘cause you’re looking right in this I. If you need more time, I can wait, I’ll not put up a fight. I’ve patience, enough to burn, doesn’t have to be next year or tonight. You’ve nothing to fear, I’ll always be here, faithful as old dogs, if you seen them. That’s my message, written in these lines and maybe a little in between ‘em.
Perhaps it would make you laugh, or shake your head and wonder why, but no one would be able to see these words without the light you shine on them. Not even I. Even in our darkest times, I’ve found illumination in your presence, your soul-light shine from over my shoulder. I tried writing in the dark, smearing what felt like letters upon the night air. But they’d be gone by morning, like dreams forgotten when I’d awaken and find nothing but emptiness all about me. So this is all about you, the dawn and noon and sunset glow, the land and water and sky, the he and she and they and them, that you are to this otherwise blind I.
Remember those days when we dreamt solitude in the midst of our daily chaos would be such a gift? Now we know it was all just a dream. In our own ways, we were always alone. And always crushed by the crowd. You, fighting your way past that throng of voices never giving you solitude, and I, lone as that looping hawk, writing everyone’s life and death stories on the clouds, ever searching for the shadow of my desire to trigger another dive at that dreamy silhouette. As I got closer, though, I always found it was mine… alone...all along.