He came out of nowhere and when he spoke the electricity came from him and went straight through me.
His voice and speech resembled that of Elliott Smith, a favorite singer songwriter of mine. The voice of a wispy angel they say. I was dumbstruck at times and looked around me to see where I was…
A string of colorful mini globe lamps (nine to be exact) hung from one side of a large dresser over the other lighting up a corner of my room. Blue, red, green and purple lights paint the surfaces near it. I lie in bed staring at it when I heard my phone vibrating. It’s a text message from him. A man four years older than me. The message read, “Just got done with practice. Want to talk later tonight?” A smile struck me and persisted like it had been super glued to my face.
It was autumn and the sidewalks and streets were covered with autumn leaves. A collage of red, yellow, orange and brown. I walked, I just walked and took it all in – this world that enveloped me. Of course I wanted to talk.
Talking to him was like writing poetry when the words just seem to flow and you scribble it all down as fast as you can to keep up with your mind. It was like painting a beautiful art piece and singing a song that came from your heart that you made up as you sang so you rush to find something to record it with before you forget.
He and I, we understood each other like the fusing together of two creative minds. I am made up of a shade of liquid blue and he is of my kind.
That night we video chatted from 10pm to 4am till he was fighting to keep his eyes open and trying to hide it but still couldn’t stop smiling. I insisted he go to bed. He had to be up again at 8am for work.
Before bed we took screenshots of each other then posted it on Facebook the next day with the privacy set so that only he and I could see the posts and we could write cheesy comments to one another without feeling weird about it.
I didn’t think about sex when I thought about him not that I wouldn’t want to. Lust comes with attraction leading to the physical aspect of the relationship to become dominate. Then it’s a fight to break the surface to see what is underneath. Unsheathe your swords. Many times it is easier to skate the surface until one of us falls over from exhaustion.
This is not the case with him. He had a gentle tone to his voice, he was attentive and present and I felt his presence through his voice. There his soul was revealed to me, it lay bare and my soul knew his.
My heart’s eye took him in, kept him in a place that was unfamiliar to me, there existed a waterfall in the forest, pristine and glistening in the sun. There we stood face to face talking and laughing, skipping rocks across the waterfall lake, and when we tire we would lie next to each other quietly holding hands listening to the waterfall tell its story.
Early mornings after I took my first few sips of coffee I would send him a good morning message then we would exchange text messages until work became too demanding for him.
In the afternoons around the time I let my dog out, he would text me to see how I was doing and we would converse via text for the next hour or two while I hung out with my son in the back yard soaking up the sun. We regularly kept open communication through out the day and after our kids fell asleep, we would talk all night till early morning.
It was like we were kids again and didn’t need to sleep or work or have responsibilities but we took care of those things and just hardly slept so we could talk to each other.
He confessed that he cared a lot about me and I confessed the same.
I confessed I wanted nothing with anyone other than with him and he confessed the same.
In the days leading up to the last conversation we had I started walking down the trail away from the place my heart kept him. Not because I wanted to but because of circumstances beyond his or my control that ultimately brought a severe thunderstorm and chill that cut straight through our spirit. A ways down that road stood an opened galvanized steel fence gate that stared straight into my soul making my heart pound in my ear like the beating of a Native American war drum. Each step I took was the end, the end, the end and when I walked through that open gate it was the end of that chapter of my life. That day, the moment I stood on the other side of the fence, I lost a dear friend.
Sometimes I can still hear his voice in my head. When I lie in bed staring at the globe lamps at night and everyone is asleep I hear him laughing, then I see his smile. I smile, close my eyes, hold tight to my son’s big blue stuffed bunny and try to sleep.
Many have come before him, and many will after but that place in my heart, the waterfall lake, is still unfamiliar to me, though I wish it were not so, because as sure as the stars hang in the night sky, it is not I who holds the key to that gate.