Thursday, September 22, 2016

The way we'd be happy

This morning as I drove to Denver, I had so very much to say. I was going to describe this little girl and how she would turn out in my story. How her Quincinera would go, how her family would have saved and slaved for it and how she would have just wanted to wear tennis shoes because at15, she still wasn’t ready for high heels and womanhood. But I can’t remember what else. There was something about a man and his body and how to describe the way destiny arranged his limbs into my path, but I can’t recall exactly what intersection I was at when I was supposed to run into and then write about him. What happened? Were they supposed to meet?

Did he miss the little girl too?


Maybe I was supposed to start a book about an apocalypse. The one where the floods come and those of us who live atop mountains where it is dry and without plenty would be flooded with humans coming up the hills to where they might survive. I would write about the way the groups stood atop of mountains and shot at the scores of people who clambered up the mountain trying to survive the rising tides and rising temperatures. The floods of people with floods behind them, and their panicked faces and how the westerners couldn’t handle it. They defended their land against the flood of bodies coming up the hill, desperate. But before that, there was the Florida bride who sizzled and steam rose from her side as it was so hot at her wedding that she literally caught fire. Rain on her wedding day would have saved her but instead her dress melted into her flesh, what was left of it after starving herself to fit into that dress in the first place.


But then life got busy and I didn’t write the characters down and they moved on to other authors, handed out by other muses.


And should I even bother to tell you how much I missed, trying to juggle the people I encountered yesterday and the let down when I didn’t get a chance to have that meaningful conversation with any of the authors. We got together to donate books and it was my tribe and I was so excited to see them. The introverted, contemplative lot. How I love to take a long break inside their minds and hear what they’ve dreamt up lately. And then instead, how we spoke in snippets abuzz with holes of interruptions. What was I saying? I was saying how I missed the connections I’d hoped to have. Only that wasn’t what I was crafting with words. It was deeds and I’d hoped to dance around it a while in conversation, hoping we could waltz into the world of friendship and remember how it felt to be together. But it didn’t work on account of the cheese holes, the way we didn’t finish a thought. The way I didn’t hear you, or see your face and watch it while you formulated a thought. I didn’t see. I was too busy.


We’re all too busy. I fantasize about winning the lottery, like any poor fool does, really. Except I think my fantasy is all about time. I want more of it. I want to use it to hike and skip and listen and never, ever do laundry again. I don’t want to own more anything. So really, if I think of what I most want at any given moment, it’s connection. When I think of what I miss about high school, the answer is mostly nothing. High school was a terrible time for me. But in those years and the ones that followed, I had those deep down friends, anything-friends, the ones you can do nothing with or swim around a pond, or go to a party, or start a ruckus, you can do anything with them. Those friends. Nearly 20 years after high school, I still know plenty of anything friends, everything friends. But the times when I’m around them are rarer and so what I truly miss is that one friend. The one friend you see every other day or so, that you talk to once or twice or sometimes even three times a day. I miss that connection. And if I think of what money would get me, it isn’t that. So maybe I need to figure out how to right my ship and point it toward the chance to connect and form that friendship. Except, everyone’s too damned busy for that sort of thing. It’s too bad. I think it’s how we’d be happy.