When the lights go out, will it be like all those nights I spent in the dark wondering? Only not wondering anymore? When all is revealed, will it not have been worth my asking over all these years? Though I finally guessed the answer. When the time comes, will you mourn the days, the hours, the minutes we could have, probably should have? Don’t answer that until then. When I’m not there to reply, will you ask yourself why you couldn't answer the question never asked? Probably as afraid of it as I was. And when the words finally stop, will anyone but you notice the echo in the empty spaces between the lines? It was the wonder, the revelation, the answer, the syllables surpassing all others when the sun shone upon us, the candle would dim and flicker between us… and the lights finally went out for good before we were ready.
This morning, I found myself standing atop that old hill, that long expanse of the Sisters’ yard between me and something they never offered. The old penguins would give me prayers and this scar where my index finger made a run for it. While I never did. <Big inhale> I’m soaring down the hill now, shadowy trees behind me, as I race gravity toward the flat-world surety of the Faithful. My youthful stride’s so long I feel I’m flying down as I fall up, youthfully sure my other foot will beat my face in the race to the ground. And in this competition between the Devil and the details of a life spent looking uphill, I think I may have reached that place, where you stand, ready to catch me before I pass by, if I’m lucky enough to keep one foot in the present, while the other hides somewhere between the past and future. My heart pounds. Lungs beg. We reach out. I open my eyes as I touch the window, realizing haven’t made it. I fill my lungs again with possibility, close my eyes and wonder what it would finally take to reach escape velocity. Just once.
Wishes are the foundation of my life, so many, like grains of sand on a beach. The truth of this story cuts like a knife, they never came true, ever out of reach. Anything you build on a bed of sand will always topple in the wind or surf. Don’t matter if your life's wish-castle’s grand, it’ll fall as if built on clouds above earth. So I stopped wishing when you went away, and my sturdy life became earthbound. I never figured you’d be back one day, but now here you are and here’s what I found. Those wishes like sand made by younger me didn’t really fit when I got older. Except this one that's mostly come true, you see -- the wish-castle I built on this boulder.