Dec 21, 2017, 05:58AM

If Not For You

We still make time stop, our greatest joy. 

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A midsummer afternoon years ago. We were apart so long that together we seemed as one for all time. It was July in the wild and wonderful mountain country. I watched you quietly reclining on a flat rock near the middle of a creek. The sun blazed down all over us and we lit up bright from within. A golden silence. Your hair glowing sunshine. In your beautiful quiet. Your eyes gazed down deep into and under water. Slowly searching inward for what was and what may become. Innocence lost and found. Tiny schools of fish nibbled at our feet. They weren’t afraid. We weren’t scared, but vulnerable to everything in and of our world surrounding an inner orbit.

The leaves in the trees above swayed like a hula dancer and made sounds in the breeze. Birds sang for us. Crickets chirped in unison. Wildflowers nearby strutted in place showing off intense colors. There was nothing to say. We heard each other’s thoughts. We watch our lives reflect in the wet mirror ripples. A splash of water. The noise of summer. Time stood still and we floated through the air. The clouds huge cotton candy fluffs like marshmallow pillows for our heads. The sky awash, a dense blue. A dragonfly skimmed the water between us. I saw you again for the first time in a shining moment, fragile softness peering inside to mysteries we share.

Thoughts we only feel without knowing. You came running to save me from myself. The only one I can trust. Supreme truth from solid hearts. I always believe in you. The only one still there after all was said and done. Everyone was gone. Even the stragglers rolled out of town. There was nothing left to do. We said much to each other as though talking to ourselves. From that moment there’re no others. There was no escaping the vivid paintings we made that day. The bold marks made from memory. Wide brushstrokes of love making lovers. No way we could run away to escape the facts of our shared fiction. We knew enough without saying a word. A brief glance told all we ever needed to acknowledge. An awkward afterthought. It was desire, truth and acceptance dressed up like a dream.

Young rebels standing in an ancient backroom restaurant kitchen cleaning shrimp. We showed you how to slice and peel shrimp to remove long thin veins of string guts. Pounds of shrimp piled on ice. Next we prepared the squid. Comically poking fingers inside squishy sacs to remove the strange clear squid spines and squeeze the slimy ooze out of innards, pulling and slicing the tentacles careful not to break the ink sacks within. That same evening spent alone together. I kissed your birthmark and you disappeared. I never saw you again. I fell and you went away. Vanished so quickly I blinked and missed decades, never forgetting one lone night’s hot summer love.

In daylight I blinked again and you were there. Jumping forward not quite a lifetime between us, old skins and shells shed and left behind. The ancient amusement park of our bumping hearts. You were a thrilling daredevil and I was a devil. We free-fall over the ocean and soar high above the crowds. We took a mutual leap of faith together hanging in thin air. Riding a rickety thrill ride roller coaster, a cyclone of love arriving at that moment everything froze. We have a photo of proof. The dream began to take on shapes and became us.

We lived other lives in different places at the same moment. You had no use for the past parade of foolish men, no more than a quick thank you and a maybe. Your secret, a power you share with me to be and do anything possible. You worked long and hard for everything you have. A testament to your strength. I muddled through, surviving my own demise. I worked hard at creating a fuzzy dream that never really came into focus till now. Choosing me from all my personas. Pulling me out of myself and into you. Thankful for your saving grace. Ever grateful to know we have each other to tug and pull us through. Having all the reasons we need to be at peace in our time here. I have your back as you watch over me. Like two crazy birds flying across the years to that distant place we know as only here and always now. We still make time stop, our greatest joy. An epic pilgrimage along a living, breathing road we travel hand in hand to new adventures. Knowing why and how we gladly go forward happily together. Not always sure on the way there but always arriving at contentment.


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