I sat in the quiet of early evening. Early enough that birds were still chirping but late enough for a breeze. The sun was setting to my right and what was left of it glistened on the lake water. The current wasn’t still enough for a reflection but you could catch a glimpse of your fleeting self before it was gone.
I sat alone on the dock, beer at my side. An older couple floated by on their custom crafted rig – all wood, a small motor. Four slots for fishing rods, two chairs and a table drilled down. The woman lounged in her chair, relaxing into it’s comfort, the man sitting – cigar in his hand. A happy couple. The kind you hope to be when you’re older – still happy and alive and in love.
The night got colder. I leaned back on the palms of my hands. I closed my eyes trying to burn the evening into my memory, trying to rid any troubles on my heart in the wind. The air fluttered around me and I opened my eyes. Stillness. Solitude. Imagination. Everything was right there but still out of reach.
A friend came up behind me and sat down in a chair, angled toward my own, and he asked what was wrong. I shook my head indicating nothing, contemplating if I should say the words out loud: I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s like the stars are colliding with the moon and the trees are growing and the birds are alive but I’m not so sure I am.
Then I remember the air gushing into and out of my lungs and I’m reminded that I am. I am alive. Even if I’m not yet whole. Even if the void inside of me has started to burn at the edges. The intensity of which I can feel at all reminds me: I am alive.
And I may sow every inch of every heart I meet into the lining of myself but that’s the wonderful and evil side effect of falling in love with the people of this world. In wanting to mend their hearts even when it means crumbling your own. In saying goodbye to the arms you want to hold onto forever. In all the ways the world throws thorns at your face when you’re handing out roses.
So I shook my head, indicating nothing. I swallowed the hair ball of tears and reminded myself this: that’s the wonderful and evil side effect of falling in love with the people of this world.