I'm chatting with the owner of our local watering hole and she's asking me to speak to some new neighbors. Something about getting a feel for them, though I am not inclined to cop a feel from complete strangers, let alone, ones with parts missing. Still, I have somehow become the metaphoric go-to guy.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see you. Your gait is purposeful. You mean to speak with me. I have several problems with this, with seeing you walking toward me with that purposeful gait. Quickly, I turn away.
"Gotta go," I tell the owner of our local watering hole. She goes on to talk with you as I make my escape.
I'm walking down the street in the lengthening shadows of the deepest blue of evening. Summer is long gone and the first snows have fallen. It gets dark so quickly now. I pull my layers close against the growing chill.
Turning the corner, there you are, walking with a purpose. You mean to speak with me. I know why you shouldn't. Why you can't. Quickly, I duck down a secret way I know, avoiding you once more.
Normally, I'm not out so late, but here I am. The gypsy and I are having cha'i and talking about books. It'd been a bit. Then her phone rings. A phone call, not texts. She talks for a few before handing her phone to me with that one look she'd get, which I used to call that foreign girl look.
"You need to take this," she says.
"Hello?" My voice echoes into an abyss.
"Don't go moving to the south," you tell me. "It'll look like you're running away."
"Bah!" I snort. "Have you fucking met me? I don't run. I'm dug in here. If I were to move, west is the closest direction to forward for me."
Of course, I'm remembering back to when things went down between the jewel-eyed girl and I, and you were amongst the school that implored me to move. For my safety. I refused, because I wouldn't run. I would not be broken, because there is not a force in the universe that can break me. I dug in. You must recognize I'm musing this by my silence.
"You still there?" You ask.
"Ummm...you do realize you've been dead almost five years, mon amie," I say finally, my voice is small and lost. "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttt?????"
And you're silent for only a second, but it seems like far longer than the almost five years...
"I know," your voice is distant and disembodied. Phantasmal. "I've known for a long time." You pause to stifle a sob. "I miss my son."
"He died the day after the accident," I say with reptilian honesty. "Two days before your family pulled you off those machines."
"Never pull your punches, do you, you bastard?" You're fighting tears.
"You'd despise me if I did," I reply.
"I told you you'd find enlightenment," you say. "Sometimes, you'd doubt me."
"I'm not that pretentious," I say. "Besides, you said that over the tarots. I met others of your ilk who could read their mark and use the cards to tell them what they wanted to hear. I'm a skeptical bastard, I admit it. If nothing else, between my mother and you dying taught me that."
"I meant what I said," you say with that sense of confidence I admired. "No matter what you think. Remember that."
The clock says four o'nine. I am wide awake, and my mind, which never shuts down completely-sucks for meditation at times-is running at full bore. There goes the rest of my sleep. What just happened was so vivid and spit-shiny real I can smell and taste it.
But I begin to think. Burden and a boon. I begin to dissect. Such is my way. These days, when being poetic, I might say part of my mysticism is inquiry and analysis.
"You're such a Virgo!" Another Pagan of my acquaintance once told me when I was being curious and questioning.
"And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?" I asked her. She never answered, but instead shot me stupefied look that I'd even inquire.
Pieces of reality begin to slide across the phantasm of the dreaming. Everyone may have known and loved you, as I often joked, but you didn't know the owner of my local watering hole. The street I walked down was far more urban/urbane than anything I've regularly walked in years. It's been almost as many years as you've been in the ground since I've shared any liquid with the gypsy.
I was dreaming...
Of course, I start asking why?, after all, it's me. You know that. The gypsy sent me all those old pictures, that one of me and you from a thousand years back, which I think of as the description of our acquaintance. Of course, like pond silt when you step into the water, memories will come flooding back. It's been nearly five years-thirteen days away-since your rollover. My mother, dead ten months before you, still shows up with vivid ferocity in my dreams.
The answer. Mystery solved. Logic.
Yeh, logic and answers do not change one simple fact; you're dead and gone almost five years, and, my dear, dear, sweet friend, I miss you...terribly...