A Random Image
 

Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 31, 2003 || 11:32 pm

Just another day in Honolulu, a different life, a different plane altogether. No longer the wild child from Memphis; a business-attired woman (though young as she was) supplanting the other. Balmy, bright-sun day, and I was sunglassed, heels clacking easily on the pavement as I went in search of some little something, a token to send to my mother to let her know I was thinking of her. Nibbling a croissant plucked from the corner patisserie, tearing small bits from the flaky whole, inserting them in my mouth and chewing thoughtfully, easily.

The shop caught my eye and I went in the south entrance, the far side away from the cash registers, placing the paper-wrapped snack into the bag over my shoulder, meandering. I passed a good five minutes wandering around the store, glasses pushed back atop my head, looking, smiling to myself at this thing and that thing, thinking of relatively nothing at all. When I finally made a selection, some dainty pretty that I cannot even recollect now, I turned to traverse the store, which was not narrow but claimed a depth that lent to that illusion. Rounding the end of an aisle, about to proceed up it, and I caught sight of you.

Down there. By the north entrance. Next to the registers. Ohgodohgod, itcan’tbe, ho-ohhhly sheee-yut, oh,oh,oh.

My stomach fell into my ankles and I gathered myself slighty (but not much, after all…how could I have known composure at such a time?) so as to look more closely, so as to confirm to myself that no, it was not you, when in fact I could do no such thing. It was you, and a mild form of blind panic welled up in me as I stepped neatly back from whence I came (such a lovely repeating theme with you and me, eh?). Nearly a whole continent and part of an ocean away and there you stood, smiling at the center of a laughing gaggle of others, as always. Natural-born center of whatever space you inhabited. I never realized until fate brought me you that it was that way with me, as well. Not the center by choice, by struggle or command, but by some unspoken default. I wrestled with the explanation of how we could occupy that space together when there is supposed to be only room for one, grasped at understanding the machinations of you and me, struggled with the concept of us. How could something so powerful even be?

My best friend posed it differently to me: How could it not?

“I can explain it,” Catt said to me once, “and everyone can feel the pull when you two occupy a room together….like if you each stand in opposing corners, whoever is haphazard enough to wander into that direct line between you will be sucked apart with the force of it. Too much, but you two never get enough… (Like a fucking movie, for Chrissakes. Overblown and inevitable, the ride toward the climax.)

“I don’t like it. Not one bit.” (She wasn’t my best friend for long after that, and I pined for and begged after her for several years afterward. She would have none of it, and by the time she would, I had buried it, stopped fingering the scar and moved on. I use commas ambiguously, but I certainly don’t waffle periods. The words, they mirror the life; I know no other way of doing things.)

And I know now, in retrospect, that neither of us knew what to make of it, really. Neither of us had encountered someone so forceful –so full of some undefinable something– as our own selves in our lives. Bewildering, when two torches come together to make a bonfire. Frightening, the recognition from word go. Agonizing, the reality while I was walking away that it would never be like this again. Nothing, ever. Sounds so laughable and cliche, but I know the difference between sound and substance. And I could give one fat fuck-all if others mock me during the telling of it, because I know that no words could ever do it justice.

I ran from you that day. I have known fear in my life, but I have never flat-out fled something, anything. Not once that I can recall or have been told about.

I fled you. You never even knew; you didn’t see me, laughing with your friends as you were. Nearly a whole continent and part of an ocean away…how do these things happen? The whys I know; the hows have always amazed me to no end.

So, there weren’t two times, as you have supposed all these years. There were three: once when I turned, firmly but full of sick. Once when I ran –near-literally– like hell, and once when I closed the door sadly but firmly for what I thought would be the last time. I should know. I should know by now that sometimes it doesn’t matter what the fuck we think. We only get a small line of sight where the bigger picture is concerned.

No, it doesn’t matter what we think at all. It matters what the universe knows.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

If you wait for me then I’ll come for you / Although I’ve traveled far / I always hold a place for you in my heart / If you think of me, If you miss me once in awhile / Then I’ll return to you / I’ll return and fill that space in your heart

Remembering / Your touch / Your kiss / Your warm embrace / I’ll find my way back to you / If you’ll be waiting / If you dream of me like I dream of you / In a place that’s warm and dark / In a place where I can feel the beating of your heart

Remembering / Your touch / Your kiss / Your warm embrace / I’ll find my way back to you / If you’ll be waiting / I’ve longed for you and I have desired / To see your face your smile / To be with you wherever you are

Remembering / Your touch / Your kiss / Your warm embrace / I’ll find my way back to you / If you’ll be waiting /
Oh, I’ve longed for you and I have desired / To see your face, your smile / To be with you wherever you are

Remembering / Your touch / Your kiss / Your warm embrace / I’ll find my way back to you / Please say you’ll be waiting

Together again / It would feel so good to be / In your arms / Where all my journeys end / If you can make a promise / If it’s one that you can keep / I vow to come for you / If you wait for me and say you’ll hold / A place for me in your heart.

// Tracy Chapman, “The Promise”

5 worked it out »

  1. Dean 8.1.2003

    The Universe is an amazing place where all things eventually come back into balance…..

    Well written Jett, I can almost taste the bittersweetness of it.

     
  2. some guy and stuff 8.1.2003

    “tearing small bits from the flaky whole, inserting them in my mouth and chewing thoughtfully, easily.”

    people, girls in particular who are picky eaters bother me. its not that hard to just put it in your mouth normally. I promise i wont judge you for eating like they used to in the olden days!

     
  3. Jett 8.1.2003

    Dear silly someguy:

    You are taking one vignette from my life and presupposing that’s my way as a constant. I tore pieces off –as good pastry is flaky– so as not to muss my suit. I’ve never been a nit who’s ‘afraid to eat’ in front of someone, especially males. I missed too many meals as a child for that bullshit; nor am I particularly picky as to which foods I will or won’t eat as a result

    And why do you automatically make that assumption, anyway? Are all the girls/women in your life that psychologically unhealthy? I promise not to judge you for hanging out with crazies!

    And JEEBUS MAHEEBUS, why are we focusing on how I was eating? I, even in my foolishness as its’ writer, did not think this piece really had much to do with food and/or its consumption.

    Only a little annoyed, but still very tongue-in-cheek,

    Jett

     
  4. John 8.1.2003

    Being “still very tongue-in-cheek” I have to say that ambiguous comma use is fine, but it can really get you in trouble with those semi-colons. I have a thing-perhaps more than just a thing-for dashes.

    Putting the punk into punctuation.

     
  5. sugarmama 8.1.2003

    Oh. I thought this post was about making a bonfire. Are you a pyromaniac?

    Beautifully expressed, BTW.

     

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