Here

I am here, partly cloudy morning, café window next to me, floor to ceiling. Man in corner adjusts burgundy necktie, looking haunted by the money game. Tall young woman changes tables. I can’t help thinking of a gazelle as she crosses the room, brings book in front of her face and taps foot. Panhandler outside is shackled to the world, smoking fat rolled cigarette in jean jacket, moves eye-patch from one eye to the other. I think of pirates, how they did this down in the bellies of ships when they turned from firing muskets across bright water to see into the dark surrounding them.

We are here, striving to be left untouched by the world, or just naïve, we float across the street this morning, all birds and salamanders and rhinos and piranhas on their way to everything. We are axles turning our wheels. We’re a science project, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. We are by turns significant and insignificant, as the owl in the hollow, as the mossy creek bank, the huckleberry bush, the woodland path cobbled with stones and woven with roots, the whale that breaks the surface and chills you to your fingernails.

You are here, in a future decorated with foreign accents, moist heat sticking to your skin, rice in a bowl, the expanding and diminishing circular sound of cicadas, the bark of trees curling back, paper-like, on the shores of lakes that listen when you speak to them. A future phone call, a voice saying “he can’t walk anymore, I don’t know how much longer”.

You are here, in a past of two people getting to know each other, of bucket lists both predictable and depressing, of stolen glances, blondes and brunettes, life on the run.

You are here, in a present of thinking the world is for the young and beautiful, and feeling you are no longer either of these things, and where have all your obsequious flatterers gone.  Yet you are learning to hold all your ideas – every thought running through your mind – in very little importance. And in this, arriving just where you are.

 

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