*a paragraph omitted from my novel, but a paragraph I enjoy nonetheless.*
The first ray has made its way into the horizon. I’ve always loved the sunrise, no matter how often I see it. There is something majestic about seeing a king lose its crown every night and continuing to come back for more each day. As if to say, “This is my kingdom and I will not abandon you.” But little does it know, its kingdom worships a new god every night in its absence. Or even more, the sun knows exactly this, but still loves the kingdom so much that it comes back regardless. Despite the story behind the sunrise, it is beautiful, and I will always admire it and strive to find that pureness within myself that can replicate even a fraction of a single ray.
The sun is high in the sky, the birds are singing so joyfully that the wandering feet on the street below cannot help but to join in on the joy, and then there is me. I sit alone in a coffee shop, sipping on hot tea, a pen in my hand, and trying to think of a story that can ever compare to the stories that I have truly lived. I have held love in my arms and dropped it so many times that I cannot deny that God would be foolish to ever trust me with love again, and I know God is not that foolish. So I must just live with decisions.
The birds outside sing a song about hope, I know that I know the song, but the lyrics just don’t come to mind in this moment. They have escaped me. Slipped out of my mind and just far enough from my tongue that I am now useless and no longer a part of its choir.
I know love. Love and I met up on so many occasions that the whispers around us called us “inseparable.” I thought it were true too, those whispers, but it turns out they were only filled with ignorance. And so was I. And so was love for even wasting all of those years with me, because, now, we are anything but inseparable.
Prompt #3: The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.
There is a freedom in the wind, there is life in the waves. I close my eyes and let the sea take control of the ship momentarily. My worries seem to fade away. Her name seems to fade away. Her face, her voice, her scent, that only moments ago still lingered in the stitches of my favorite sweater, all seem to fade away. All I can see and hear and breath is the ocean breeze.
My heart, for the first time in weeks, beats with no intention other than its original design. There weren't any long pauses in between beats, the beats weren't anxious in any way, they were just... natural, in a way that has become so terribly foreign to me.
I look out yonder, into the blackness of the sea and the glittering of the night sky, and wonder why I ever decided to live anywhere other than here. I have all that I truly need. Food swims so innocently a few inches below the ship's hull. I have a stove on board that could clean out the water to a drinkable state. What more do I need? All that I cared about back on land left me with just a short of letter of justification. This ocean is all I need now. Maybe these are drunken thoughts, but my soul has never been more sober than in this moment. The sea is where I belong.
Prompt #2: The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back? http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
No matter how much I drink or sleep or attempt to bleed away the misery, I cannot get that horrendous word of my head... "No." I just cannot believe somebody so angelic could cut so deeply into my soul and rip my heart to shreds-- but she has.
I understand that I cannot make somebody love me, I know that and have accepted that, but no level of acceptance or understanding can stop my heart from bleeding and my soul from crying out. I have love letters and sappy poems filling up every trash bin in the house and all over the street... I try to write about anything other than her, but I cannot even get my mind to think of anything that isn't her... My heart beats the syllables of her name. She is the main character of my dreams-- though not even in my dreams does she answer "yes" to that doomed question.
Maybe I misread the signs, or maybe the signs were only a manifestation of my own foolish mind... thinking it can create something that simply does not exist.... Oh, how I wish your love for me did exist, but it doesn't. I tell my friends that I'm fine, but that isn't the first time that I have lied. I tell them that I haven't thought of you in weeks; oh, how I wish that were true. My mind hasn't thought of anything besides you since... I cannot even remember a time... Ever since you entered my life, all of those years ago, my mind has been filled with thoughts of you and my heart has been filled with love for you and my future has been filled with me and you... but now I must change my future plans... Oh, how I wish your love for me did exist.
Your green eyes were my Northern Star,
But, with you leaving my side, that guide has faded away--
And now I wonder if I will ever again find my way home.
Maybe you and I will be together someday...
But even my convoluted mind can't seem to find a way
That you and I become intertwined in the end.
I guess this is our tragic end--
"Do you love me?"
Prompt #1: Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be? http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
The sun shines sparingly through the curtains and onto my bed. I close my eyes tightly in hopes of slipping back to sleep and into another dream, as those are the only times you and I seem to meet-- but sleep has once more evaded me. I hear the birds chirping and singing along to some happy tune that seems so foreign to me nowadays. I sit in the darkness for possibly a moment too long, though even with the open curtains and the sun taking over my bedroom the darkness is nearly impossible to avoid as it has so long ago occupied my entire mind.
I sit at my bedside and watch the cars drive by below. I see couples walking around, hand-in-hand, on their way to coffee or breakfast or wherever it is that couples go, I no longer would know. The news plays softly in the background, the weatherman says tonight should be another cold one, he suggests snuggling up with a loved one over a cup of hot chocolate-- I mute his voice.
The wind softly picks up trash from the gutter and floats it into the air, it dances around-- showing that even garbage is able to find joy in this gruesome world. I see that most of the pedestrians are covered up with light sweaters and shielded with sunglasses of some sort. I walk into my closest and peek around for a sweater that doesn't remind me of you or isn't covered in your scent, the mission is nearly impossible, but eventually I find one hidden in the back. I grab it, wipe off the years of dust, and try to cover up my disgust for its hideous orange shading and throw it on over a dirty shirt. My only pair of glasses were purchased by you, so I decide that I would rather the sun attempt to penetrate my vision, than have a reminder of you so close.
With no plans for the day, I walk aimlessly through the streets. I feel the breeze softly against my cheeks; the sun's rays, appearing through building gaps and alleyways, warm me up as the wind attempts to cool me down. It is a beautiful day, even I can admit that. The birds seem to fly only above my head as they continue to sing joyfully; the trash dances around by my side and for a moment... everything seems okay.
I wonder if you think about me as much as I think about you and write about you and dream about you and pray about you... I find it unlikely, I guess that's why we are no longer we, but instead are you and I-- I am broken, but you seem to be just fine. The thing that gets the deepest beneath my skin is the lack of closure that we provided to one another. It was as if we were both afraid to speak the truths of our hearts-- my truth that I loved you and your truth that you never could. Our truths never did seem to align...
Nowadays my pens seem to instinctually write your name. Every night I re-watch a version of my default dream-- where you and I attempt love once more, but it inevitably fails... That is how broken our love truly is, it cannot even survive in a world that exists purely in my mind.
I'm not sure why I continue to write about you or paint pictures of your green eyes and post them all over the walls of my brain-- it's obsessive, I know, but I believe it is so much more. I am afraid to move on or incapable of moving on... all I know is that I do not want to move on... Though I know I must move on... Why have we forced ourselves into this disgusting corner that is exhaustive with cobwebs all telling me to move on. Even the demons of my soul have teamed up with the few surviving angels in attempts to convince me to move on... But still I refuse to move on.
I will continue to write about you until the world is vacant of empty space and all the pens have run dry... But even then I will find a mountaintop to scream my confessions out. It's the only way that I know how to live... Even if I cannot truly have you, I will have you in my dreams. I will have you in my prayers. I will have you in the words that I write. Even if the only words directed at me are "move on," my words in response will always pertain to you... I refuse to move on.
I dreamt about you again last night, as I have done every night since we last spoke. It was just you and I alone in a room, but we weren't speaking or holding onto one another, rather we were just sitting... and being together. I guess that's all I really want in this moment-- to be with you. I don't need a "Hello" or a kiss, I just need your eyes and smile in the same room that I sit. I want our lungs to breathe in the same air and our exhales to intertwine. I want you, here. I no longer want to be afraid to wake up in the morning-- knowing that is when I must say goodbye until the next night where I can sleep and dream of you and I once more. All I want is you and I once more, but it seems that you and I are no more-- unless we're living in my dreams, where you once more are mi amour.
"You love me, don't you?"
"You know that I do."
"Then why isn't that enough?"
"It is enough."
"It clearly is not."
It is silent as I formulate my response. "It's not... a lack of love. It's just... I have to do this. You get that, don't you?"
"I just don't see why it's either that or me."
"You know that I want you both."
"Then have us both."
"I can't! You know that I can't... Fuck!"
"What is it?"
"I love you... so fucking much," a single tears rolls down my left cheek, "I just... I hate that I can't have you."
"It's not written in the stars."
"Then ignore the stars."
"I can't... I need to go."
"You need to stay."
I look silently into her eyes-- they are so beautiful. Her soul radiates through her pupils and consumes my heart... I will always love her and I will always resent God and his stars for tearing us apart.
"Goodbye," is all that I can say. I stand up and walk away-- towards my destiny and away from where I wish my destiny lived, but elsewhere it lives.
I am unsure of what it is that I should do. Half of my heart is occupied with desires for her, despite where it is that my body may lie-- however the other half is filled with the desire for a career that would take my body half away across the world, thousands of miles away from where she will lie.
I have asked her to come with me, but without hesitant she says me. "My family is here, my friends are here, my job is here-- my life is here," she repeats exactly the same way every time I bring it up.
"But our love could be there... and isn't that the most important thing?" I want to say in response, but never do-- instead I only nod and repeat, "I understand."
I am torn between the two things that I love most in this world-- my dreams and her. Both live in a very specific habitat, but those specific habitats are destructive to the other... meaning only one can survive, while the other will die.
My gun is loaded and a bullet must be shot, but which way should I aim the barrel?
I just don't know.
As the rest of their crew went out to a party, Tristan and Troye decided to take a walk to get to know each other and their new city a little better. They ended up in the grass of a dark park while looking up at the stars. Tristan shared a lot of secrets with Troye that night-- a lot more than Troye was used to having trusted in him. He told Troye about his relationship with his parents-- his father more specifically-- and maybe that is why Troye gravitated towards him so much. They both shared in the experiences of abuse.
“I just never could get out of my brother’s shadow, you know?” Troye nodded along even though he couldn’t truly relate, being an only child and all. “I don’t know. I guess he was embarrassed of me… It’s not like I did anything wrong, I just never did things quite as good as my bro did…” Tristan trailed off then continued on with a new tangent, “Do you believe in God? I see you reading that Bible every night… but do you believe?”
This was the first time Troye had ever been truly asked that question. His entire life he was told that God existed and he never really thought about the possibility that he could not exist. He sat with the question for a while, uncovering convictions within that he was previously unaware of. He tried for the first time to mute his father's screaming voice inside of his head and listening in to his internal thoughts and digestions of his nightly readings and personal spiritual experiences. “I do.”
“Then how do you explain this world?” Tristan had his finger on the trigger and was ready to shoot off as soon as he was given the signal.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean how can a God, who claims to be so loving, create a world with so much evil? The abuse, the killings, the deformities, the cruelties of man, the… who would do such a thing to the people he loves?”
Troye thinks again, exploring his mind and discovering he is far more opinionated and informed than he previously believed. He also discovered that he didn't really believe in all of the things his dad forced him to believe in, rather he had his own views that he had suffocated in the corners of his brain. His dad would have answered, "Because God is God and he can do whatever the hell he wants," as he so often did with every question directed at him. But that was not what Troye believed-- he discovered. God wouldn't act in such a careless and meaningless way, there is an intent behind every decision. He formulated his scattered discoveries and formed them into a singular thought.
“I think evilness is the only way he can prove his love... Think about it this way, if it were always light out we wouldn’t even know the concept of darkness… or lightness for that matter. In the same way, if the world were filled only with love, then we wouldn’t know that love even existed. The color white cannot exist without other colors in contrast. We need darkness to see the light. Good cannot exist without bad. God cannot exist without evil. They need each other to exist… So... I guess, he didn't necessarily create evil or thrust evilness upon us, but rather evil exists because he exists.”
Troye and Tristan lied there silently digesting.
“Interesting,” was all Tristan said before the rest of the night was filled with thoughtful silence.
It was a summer night, maybe June or July, when our eyes met for the first time. I spotted you across the bar and you greeted my stare with a smile that made my knees buckle. I walked passed your table a couple of times before gathering the nerves required to grab a seat and say "Hello."
We sat and talked until the chairs were stacked high and the bottles of whiskey were empty-- but our conversation and desire for one another was as full as could be, so we mutually agreed to continue the night. We took a cab across town and even the cabbie couldn't help but to comment on the chemistry that floated throughout the backseat. We split a bottle of wine on my couch and filled the room with laugher, until our passion became too strong to be contained.
We bumped into walls as our clothes crashed onto the floor. You whispered into my ear as we crawled beneath the sheets. I couldn't sleep after the act, I had too many butterflies tingling within-- I prayed it wasn't just the drunkenness in your veins that convinced you to spend the night.
Luckily the next morning our sobering hearts were still infatuated with one another. Over a couple cups of coffee we uncovered hidden gems in both of our mind's and somewhere, in the midst of the digging, we began to discover love. We opened up our closet doors and dragged the skeletons out into the light and together we crushed their bones into dust and buried them forever-- we agreed that never again would we allow the past to puppeteer our futures. We walked out into our new lives hand-in-hand as new people. Though the knowledge of each other's existence has been short, the effects have been permanently written the stars. And for that I thank God that he gave me the nerves to say "Hello."
The wheels of my bag dragged and bumped off of the cobblestone street-- I could feel the vibrations creeping from my finger tips up into my elbow and beyond. I look from building to building trying to find my hostel, but my walk has been misled for over an hour. Finally, I see the name "Abel's Hostel" and walk inside. There is a beautiful blonde working the front desk. I walk slowly up to her and tell her my name.
We exchange all of the needed information and in return she gives me the key to my room, but with a slight lingering, "I get off at half past five, if you want a tour of the city." I have been backpacking around Europe for the passed three weeks, but none of the sights have compared to the shine in her smile or the twinkle in her eye.
"I'd like that." I murmur.
"Good. Meet me down here... And bring a jacket, it may rain."
When I get into my room I look down at my watch and see it is already ten past five. I say hello to my roommates for the next few days and change from my airplane clothing to something nicer and more impressive for... well I guess I didn't get her name, did I?
Twenty minutes later I eagerly head back to the front desk. When I get there she is waiting for me. "Ready to go?" She asks.
"Let's do this... My name is Austin, by the way."
We walk through the city of Budapest. This was one of the last cities I added to my trip, in all honesty it was only tacked on to make the route from Athens to Prague slightly easier. But, wow, did this city blow me away-- but most of all, I was blown away by the girl who was showing me it all. I learned that the city of Budapest started off originally as two cities, "Buda" and "Pest". The two cities were united, though you can still see where each city was as they are separated by a bridge and a strip of water.
Though the entire city was absolutely beautiful, there was a particular statue on the Buda side that gained my love. She told me it was The Statue of St Gellert. It was a statue of St Gerard, the bishop who brought Christianity to the people of Hungary. To represent this they have him standing at one of the highest points in the city and raising a cross over the city of Budapest. The way I interpreted the piece was like this: with God raised high up into the air, he was protecting the city from the demons and the evil spirits flying throughout it. Budapest has a dark history, but every time they prevail. I would like to think it has something to do with this statue.
As we move our way over to another point on Gellert Hill, it begins to pour. I quickly throw my hood over my head, but it accomplishes nothing in keeping me dry. Luckily, Hanna brought an umbrella, so we both huddled beneath it and watched as lightning decided to put on a show in the sky. Streaks plummeted from the highest points of heaven, down to the tip top of the city. It was one of the most beautiful natural occurrences I had ever seen. The entire city being lit up for a moment's time by a streaking light-- and it didn't hurt to have Hanna by my side throughout it all.
After the lightning began to slow, Hanna and I began down the hill. The rain continued to pour and the path turned from previously soft dirt to now running mud. To keep her balance, Hanna grabbed onto my hand. To keep myself from floating away, I held tightly to hers.
When we reached the bottom, our clothes were soaked in mud and heavy with absorbed rain. She laughed in pure joy and threw her hands high into the sky. She let the rain fall onto her unprotected body and smiled high to the heavens, as if to send thanks. I watched her for a moment's time with a smile I couldn't free myself from even if I wanted to. She looked over at me, our eyes met and our smiles grew. I removed the umbrella from above my head and threw my hands up, as well. I prayed as many thanks to whomever it was up in the heavens more times in that moment than I ever have or probably ever will again in my entire life.
Finally, I lowered my arms and again looked into Hanna's eyes. We both leaned into one other with more ferocity than the lightning leaned into the city of Budapest. The heavens exploded in a thunderous applause. The rain patted us on the backs with encouragement. St. Gerard tilted the cross towards the two of us.
And that is the moment that I fell in love with Budapest and in Budapest.
The city lights sparkle in the distance. The breeze flows heavily through the open windows and attempts to take my hair away with it. My packed to the brim suitcase rattles against the backseat as my heart rattles against my ribcage, both of which are as eager as my soul for this new beginning.
My hometown and rotten memories are nearly distant history, only holding my footprints which will soon fade into oblivion. My eyes are set and my headlights are set and my future is set on New York City and the bright lights and skyscrapers reaching as high as I for my dreams. I have no place to live or job to work or plan whatsoever, but I know that this city and its uncertainties will be better for me than any of those certainties in my old home.
I fell in love many times in that run down town, but the amount of despair and heartbreaks vastly outnumber the moments of joy. Old ghosts flutter the town. They live around every corner. They are in the local pubs and crawl beneath the bleachers. They rest in the stitches of my bed's linen and whisper in the dead of the night. I can hardly breath in the streets without my lungs lounging out for a lost dream... You see I needed to leave. To run. To escape. It was the only way to survive.
The city lights are growing closer. My future is brightening already, though the moon is high in the sky and the streets are as quiet as can be. The ghosts are gone. The nightmares are over. My life can once more be filled with light and hope and love and God. The city lights are among me... and I among them.
The nerves flowed through my veins and pricked at the tip of my skin. My feet felt light as they glided up the driveway and towards her front door. I tried to maintain the conversation which hadn't lolled for even a moment since I picked her up around six, but it was growing increasingly more difficult. I could feel my heart banging on my ribs, begging to be freed. My fingertips were growing numb and my palms evermore clammy.
Though the trek from my car to the front door felt everlasting, all at once we had arrived at our path's end. I could feel the clamminess begin to spread as my body and hers squared up and our eyes met in a knowing way. Time paused in that moment, it leaned on the edge of its seat wondering what we would do with its extension. The angels rose to peak down upon us and God prepared for the popping of champagne. A few choice stars shined as brightly as they could if only to increase the twinkle in her eye.
Even with the backing of angels and the whispers of God in my ear to "Kiss the girl!" I couldn't help but be overpowered with anxiety. I craved her with every ounce of my being. The atoms that so meticulously strung me together all tried to rip apart in hopes to become closer to her.
Finally, after what felt like millenniums but most likely was only mere seconds, I took a deep breath and began to lean. I can see the edges of her lips curl into a smile, then pucker up as she begins to lean towards me. I closed my eyes and shortly felt her lips upon mine. With a loud boom I felt the cork flying off of the bottle in heaven, I could hear the stars rejoicing in the sky, and see time wiping away tears of joy. There were fireworks exploding high, even if they only existed in both of our minds.
The kiss didn't last long, but the feeling of her lips lasted forever. Our souls were introduced to one another that night and for the rest of their lives would come to know every inch of each other. But it all started with that one kiss, that one lean, that overcoming of nerves just enough to listen to the whispers of God to "Kiss the girl!"
The moonlight reflected brightly off of her eyes, only sharpening the blue and grey that intertwined within them. Her black dress flowed and dragged ever-so-slightly on the ground behind her. The streetlights, though assigned a destination, couldn't help but tilt their light wherever she went. The breeze flowed through the entire street, but lingered for a moment too long on her blonde hair, causing it to flow much like the dress below.
On her right-hand side was me-- a simple man completely captivated by the masterpiece to my left. How could I ever thank God enough for placing her in my life? Me, such an evil man with evil thoughts and evil desires... How did the demons in my mind result in this angel to my left? Oh how I am completely in love.
As if the breeze was making music in her ear only for her, she begins to twirl through the middle of the street. The leaves blow from the trees and dance circles by her feet. Even the trash lining the side of the street can't help but nod their heads along with the beat. She reaches her hand out to me and I grab on tight, how blessed am I? I spin her once, then twice, her heartbeat serving as my music, her serving as my muse. Not a second floats by where I am unamused with this girl.
I hear God whisper down, "Take care of my daughter." And I whisper back, "Thank you for blessing my soul with her."
We dance until the breeze fades away and the night fades away and the leaves fade away, but the love we share for one another will never fade.
"What are we?" She asked after minutes of silence-- broken only momentarily by the crashing of waves and the aching in her heart.
She looked over and saw the thoughts scrambling in in his mind. They had known each other since grade school. They had hooked up sporadically over the years. They had been doing so more frequently, intertwined with date nights and romantic walks under the moonlight and sand creeping in between their toes. She was quite aware that their relationship has always been complicated. It has never quite been purely platonic, yet it has never truly reached a point of a relationship-- regardless of how intimate they have become.
"I don't know," he finally mutters only slightly louder than the crashing waves and her deepening breaths. He is more than aware of the love that flows in his veins for this girl. He dreams about her nightly and thoughts of her often distract him from his everyday life. He cannot imagine his life without her eyes, her smile, her laugh, her soul, or her mind. But that right there, that dependency, is exactly what keeps him so unsure of what they are. He has seen friendships birth, breath, and die in the fire so often referred to as a relationship. He couldn't live with himself if he let what they were, whatever the hell it is that they were, die. He needed her in his life, and he was terrified that his self destructive soul would ruin it if he allowed their friendship to take a step towards anything more than what they already were.
"I just-" she couldn't finish the sentence, but they both knew exactly what she meant. But that's just the issue, they knew in their minds that both of them loved one another. That both of them wanted one another. That both of them wanted to jump off the pier of friendship and into the sea of possibilities, but without either one them stating it plainly, they both allowed the uncertainty that wasn't even truly uncertainty to strangle anything that could have ever been. They aborted their love before it could ever take its first breath.
Silence once more peeked out its disgusting head. It looked them both up and down as their hearts shattered and their destiny was brutally murdered by its hands. The waves continued to crash onto the sand. The sand continued to creep in between their toes. And their toes continued to be filled with love and desire and passion. But the silence killed all three.
I get it... Our love was never meant to last, yet still I can't help but find it daunting, how quickly eternity came and went. It feels like only yesterday that you were in my arms. I can still sense your breath on my chest, but my fingers are growing cold without your touch. I tell my friends that I'm fine, I tell my mother that I'm fine, I even tell God that I'm fine, but my soul doesn't believe my lies. There is an aching deep within me, a voice in my ear that keeps whispering your name, and nothing has ever been the same since you departed. I feel like a lost puppy, sitting by the door waiting for its owner to come home. My tail wags no longer, however, since I have lost faith in my owner.
Long walks underneath the moonlit sky have served me no good. Music has no taste. And I have lost all desire for food or sleep or life. I still have a voicemail from a few years back. You claimed that you loved me then, I wonder where that love has gone to hide. I wonder who is holding you at night, I know how much you hate to sleep alone. I wish you would just come home and jump into my arms, stitch up my broken soul, I swear I can forgive you for it all.
Your perfume is still deep within the mattress. Every now and again I get a whiff in the kitchen or down the hall or on the couch that we spent so many nights lying in one another's arms. I have a new journal, I started it the day that you left. It is filled now with poems and letters and tears all for you. I wonder what were God's intentions when he told you to leave. I wonder if the angels cried for the loss. I wonder if the devil rejoiced at my broken heart. I wonder if the stars had to realign, or if this was always our destiny...
My mind is a prison. I look for a way out, but all I see are thick walls. I scream and bang my hands until they are black and blue and the walls are smeared red with blood, but progress is never made. I cry out for God, but not even God can reach me here. It is just me and my thoughts and the demons that control us both.
"You are mine." The reverberations of the voices echo from each wall and attack my ears at every angle. "You are nothing." "You will never be loved."
"Shut up!" I scream at the top of my lungs, but the words are swallowed up and spat back at me. I try to run, but the walls reach out and pull me into them. There is no wiggling free from their grip. The voices move closer and turn into a whisper so low that the echoes have to lean in just to hear their vile tunes.
"We are the only ones-" "-Who will ever be here." "You will never be loved." "Never."
"I am lov-" I begin to scream, but the walls slam my mouth shut. I again try to free myself, but the grip only tightens. My ribs pierce into my lungs. My heart refuses to beat. My blood no longer flows through my veins and the war in my brain wages on.
"How dare you try and fight us!" "Silly boy." "DON'T YOU KNOW WHO YOUR MASTER IS?" "Don't you...?"
I feel them lean in and whisper in a unison so soft that is nearly mute.... "us."
She reaches down and intertwines her fingers with mine. Her soft skin rubs up against my callused hands.
“Tell me,” she begins, “What brought you here?”
“I visited a buddy here during college-“
“No, I mean here—in life. What brought you to this moment?”
I think about it for nearly two blocks. “I guess I… I’ve lived my entire life following some sort of plan and… I guess I finally realized that the plan wasn't really what... what I wanted. I guess I just needed to figure out what it was that I did want. So I came here to figure that out, I guess.”
“You guess too much.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean just that. You guess too much… You don’t allow yourself to be certain of anything.” The thought floats in the air for a minute.
“What?” She looks up at me with a smirk.
“I guess- I mean, I never really thought about it like that.”
I take a moment to formulate a thought that I am confident in. “Certainty… and its effects. Like, I was never certain if I made the right decision about my studies or my group of friends or my faith... so none of them ever satisfied me. Not because the decisions were wrong, which they still could have been, but rather because... because I always had that uncertainty in the back of my mind... I was always wondering if there were better options out there, better places I could be, or better people I could be spending my life with. So, because of that, I never could enjoy the moment. I was never certain that God was who we claimed him to be, so, I never found any satisfaction in him. Or anything, really. Maybe if I was certain about... what I was doing, then... then maybe I could find satisfaction. Happiness... Love."
With the last word, I squeeze again at her hand. At the moment, she is the only thing that I am certain of.
I feel you in my veins. My heart murmurs your name. My soul cries out when you're not around, and, right now, you are not around. I wish that I could reach out and feel your touch once more. I wish that I could pull you in and hold you tight. I desire the graze of your lips on mine, but it's fine, I know destiny did not assign you my name.
My knees are black and blue, my voice is raspy from praying out to the Lord that He, or whomever it may be, would rewrite our prophecies so that you and I were meant to be. I do not have faith in myself to survive in this world without you. You are my lungs. You are my dreams and without you peaceful sleep can never exist. I'm sick of these nightmares with open eyes.
I miss your scent, your lips, your hips, I miss all of you. I miss your mind and the places our conversations would go. I have traveled further and deeper in an hour with you, than 23 years on my own. I feel like my life is no longer only my own, but rather it is partially yours. After all, my soul is partially you and my mind is consumed by you and my heart knows only of you and my tongue shouts only your name. It's a shame that you and I are miles apart. It's a shame that my heart has to learn once more how to beat without you. I feel defeated without you. I have forgotten how to breathe without you. I am unconvinced that the world even exists without you.
I see the trees, I feel the breeze, I hear the shouts of innocence, but none of it is real. The only thing that is real in this place is you and I... but you and I are no more. And I can't help but to wonder, if I... am also no more.
I am utterly and hopelessly in love. It's sensations tingle on the tip of my every nerve. I feel it in the highest points of sternum, ready to erupt into the world. But the strange thing is there isn't anybody or anything in particular that I am in love with. Rather my love is aimless. It is scattered to every corner of the world.
It falls head over heels as the waves crash down onto the rocky sand. It flies high as the sun is covered so elegantly by a blanket of dark clouds. I feel it rumbling as the wind flows in one window and out the other. I feel the vibrations in the music. It's aimless, yet aimed at so much.
My feet have been hovering off of the earth for the past few days and my heart feels so light that I fear it may float away. It is a feeling that never in my life have I felt, yet at the same time I can recognize its every pulse.
With this love filling my veins, I can see the world's beauty that previously was hidden. It is as if the rain has finally cleared and the sun has shined the darkness away.
I see poetry in every atom. I see its prose floating in and out and through everything that belongs to it. I see the depressants of Edgar Allan Poe and the hope of Langston Hughes. It is all around us. Love reveals the poetry our souls crave so crystal clear that even a blind man could feel it in his veins.
I see God living all around. The thing about love is it reveals everything that God has ever tried to tell us. It's true that love is God and God is love. And without love there is no God, but luckily for us love and God are in everything. Poetry is in everything. And with love all of the devil and its demons are washed away and drowned into nothingness. If we keep love close to our hearts and close to our souls, nothing can ever defeat us. Because God is love and God cannot be defeated.
Unfortunately love is a free spirit. It roams without constraints and if we don't watch it closely we can lose it. We see it far too often. Where a man in love lets his eyes wander too far and love tip toes away and by the time he turns back to love it is already gone and irretrievable.
I have lived with love and I have lived without and I choose love every time. I will keep love so close that you won't be able to tell where I end and love begins. I will hold so tightly that the atoms of I and the atoms of love will have no choice but to merge into one.
And I will live the rest of my life with poetry and love and God, forever.