I’m sitting in a coffee shop, listening to the buzz of conversation and beer bottles clinking quietly against the tables. The murmur as food is received, thanks given, queries answered. The warm fuzziness of eye contact made and held, eyes crinkling at the edges or staring seriously, sensing the mood and intention. A hug, just now, in front of my very own table where my laptop sits half-way precariously across from Morgan. The innocent calls of children, “byeeee… byeee…” and their adults’ near disregard of their constant kinetic energy.
The lights, glowing warmly in the sea of dancing, looping colors. Fish cutouts twist in all different directions at the level of the lights and below, giving the ocean scene authenticity in the imagination of the observer. Why did they choose to color everything warmly? Why are there blue and green lights, but they don’t work? Who is they, and how much time did they invest in this upside-down world?
Books and DVDs line the walls and even spill sturdily into table space. Spine after spine tells a story and promises a world of emotion and attention, hours of their time, of their work. Who is they?! Whose hoard of stories has found its way into this dark world with wine-colored droplets of ocean life?
The wine bottles and those of liquor tell another story entirely; or is it the same? Time consumption. That’s what we’re all here for; but isn’t that a fact of life, regardless, not to be regretted but to be celebrated? Yes, the way in which we use our time changes everything. It changes our perspective, our potential for future decisions and actions, but is any one use of time greater than another?
If only I could spend all of my own time looking and writing, standing on the precipice of this upside-down sea-world of swimming sounds and the bubbles of lives.
Why do we find rain sad? What about the flow of water from the sky makes us feel a longing for sunshine? Are we so dependent, so attached to the sun that even momentary loss of its light gives us emotional unsettling?
The fact is, rain instills within us a darker feeling, a quieter presence like a looming change, seeping into our cracks and crevices. It finds us in a state of calm and changes this, creating a calm with an edge, a dripping, heavy calm that seeks the blackest consciousness.
We counter, we fight back with hot tea and movies and warm blankets, and yet the rain persists in its headlong rush toward change. It reminds us of the world’s self-absorption, its uncaring attitude toward our existences. The earth exists within itself, and we do also; but it does not exist within us. We are part of it, it encompasses us; this is frightening. It is despairing. It is worthy of acknowledgment, of reminding, of a niggling sensation of smallness. This is why there is rain, and us, and us witnessing and feeling and crying rain.
We are rain.
We are the rain of the earth, falling like dots upon its surface, changing everything around us, reminding everything of life and of loss, of impending change and sadness. We see rain and rain sees us, we are rain and rain is us. We are sad when it rains because we have lost our friends, the connection to our souls which lust after the freedom of leaping from high clouds to dance toward the ground. We were all rain in our past lives, understanding the simple existence of being atoms of hydrogen and oxygen bound so tightly we did not know the difference, of knowing there is only one way to go and going there, always going there. Of lifting up, shaky and new, from lakes and rivers of us, to seep into the sky. To rest, pondering what is below and above and now, among shivering, vibrating brothers and sisters and then to fall.
We were all rain, and when we see the sky turn dark and we smell the wetness of change, we remember.
Your nose dips, I think of a woodshop.
What, about your life, brings you to this thought?
You are so many thoughts and moments, how can I possible comprehend who you are—
Are you deep honey?
Your voice sings like something amber and ringingly sweet, and your eyes – one is in the light, and glows golden while the other is darker, and makes me think of the cedar smell of my old guitar.
Perhaps you are my old guitar, clouded with fingerprints from years ago, strings ancient and dusty, yet resoundingly beautiful.
Is that why I want you?
Do you ache in my fingertips, drawing me quietly back to when I was in love with this music?
Do you remind me of a melody I cannot remember? Are you that melody?
How can I know you if I cannot remember who you are?
But I see you beside me, I hear you inhale as your eyes close halfway, sipping cinnamon-honey tea and sounding like an amber note, part of my own simple melody.
She arches her neck, daintily leaning toward the plants as she inhales slowly.
He gravitates toward her, his weight balanced in the toes of his converse as his eyes, like hers, close.
They breathe in, trying to absorb the scent of the plants below her chin.
I wonder if they realize those aren’t flowers. Of course, anything can be disguised as a flower, but both of them, inhaling, should have noticed succulents are completely odorless.
He is distracted by her shoulders, her bared neck, her dark purple sweater which covers all but the tips of her fingers and she is blinded by his thick presence behind her, comforting yet exotic.
They move from plant to plant, him following her, leaning in and out, testing them all.
I smile as I watch, knowing they know nothing but each other.
I look down at my hands, feel the ghost of your fingers, and remember.