Thursday, November 10, 2005

#3 - What I know for sure

In brief.

A downpour with wind. A forget-your-umbrella or spend all day turning it right side out again kind of day. Grey and lovely sky. Clouds in motion. If the last of the yellow leaves were audible, they’d be a thousand voice choir.

Pick up the groceries. Call a cab, plug Neil Young into my ears and enjoy the forty-five minute wait. Watch the light sparkle in puddles on black pavement while the shoppers come and go.

All day, I have been compiling and piling. The list of what-must-be-done, the hysterical refrain of no-time-to-do-it. I feel like something in a leg-hold trap and tell myself to stop it, just stop it. But it isn’t until I’m forced to stand and wait, that I do. Stop.

Home. Drag two bags and three sacks of groceries up all those stairs. Unpack.
Throw open the balcony door. Open the mail.

Letter one.

L. curses me. Three times with four-letter letter words. I am still standing outside the grocery store watching the rain hit the puddles as I read this. I am still walking down a road that leads to a prison in another rain under another sky.

L. also watches the sky and loves the rain.

The day I left, he wrote that he’d seen a plane pass overhead and wondered at how I’d “come all the way from somewhere to nowhere” to see him. He imagined I could be on that particular plane going home to somewhere.

He’s taken me off his visitors list, he says. But if I want to write again, he will answer. I will write again because of what I know and because I love him.

Letter two. Miz T writes, “A little old lady began wheezing in a bathroom stall behind me. I turned quickly to see her come out. She came out shaking, trying to get her oxygen tube in her nose. The cold of the day took her breath away. We talked for a while until she calmed down. She had taken the bus uptown to buy back a pawned ring for her friend. My heart melted. She was cold, her legs were still shaking. I did not leave her until I was sure she was feeling sound and told her to keep warm. I thought later I could have given her my scarf, but she was a little proud.”

We never land for long. Moments trying to comfort a stranger in a public washroom, an embrace in a prison visiting room, a fleeting second when someone allows you to see them when they truly inhabit their eyes. Moments drifting, crashing, caressing and floating away is what we have. Love is the only reason to touch down at all but we don't own love. Love isn't a destination, a single set of coordinates on a map.

The thing is, we are between somewhere and nowhere all the time.

2 comments:

Teri said...

This is lovely. I really like the thousand voice choir of yellow leaves.

Koru's Daughter said...

Beautiful and haunting. You, girl, have a talent.