I tagged you first as the rain fell. You chased me through the umbrella-d drones: scared of shorting their circuitry. The rain fell on us.
I looked back at you when you stopped smiling to blow the wet hair off your face. I didn’t notice wet socks in new shoes while I stopped you in your tracks with a puddle splash. We circled around lampposts and street signs, cutting through drizzled grass back to the car. I jumped in to lock the door from you, but you were too close behind. You tagged me in the passenger seat the night the rain washed away our age.
Sometimes I stare. But I just can’t help myself from looking at the back of that pretty head. And those slender arms that come to a gentle rest in front of her, dainty fingers drumming away at an invisible tune of a popular song I’ve never heard of. She’s perfect. Her brown hair, her turquoise shirt with all the jewelry, and jeans. I don’t know anything about her, but she’s perfect.
It’s just this feeling I’ve got. An instinctual calling of fate that tells me “this one”. I can tell because my hands get sweaty. I can tell because when she looks towards me, I get hyper-aware. I start to feel my taste buds slide against the inside of my mouth and I can taste my early-morning saliva and lead-ridden drinking fountain water. I have to remind myself to blink every 15 seconds or so. I realize my foot has been tapping, and when I stop it, that potential energy builds up my anxiety. And all this happens with her quickly turning her head to the side to adjust her hair over her shoulder. When I pass her in the hallway, I realize the patter and rhythm to my walking until I start walking with a hobble. My lips feel uncomfortable just sitting there and I move them around until they’re fixed into some sly smile. But I always make sure not to show teeth- they’re not white enough. Maybe there’s something in them.
And as much as I hear “this one” ringing through my head on repeat for hours and hours, I can’t make myself do anything. If she was interested, I’d know, right? But why would she? I can smell my 3-day unwashed jeans when I sit down. Sometimes when she sits down, I get the faint whiff of name brand dryer sheets and mall-grade perfume. She’s perfect. But my shirt has a hole in the collar and I could probably use a haircut. Maybe after some new clothes and grooming I can maybe say ‘hi’.
I like to wonder what would happen if I just collapsed in the middle of everything. Who would rush over? Who would run away? Who would just watch? Who would care? I think about this scenario constantly in many different places, with many different people, but I can’t stop myself from always picturing her to run over first and be upset. Really, really upset. Her eyes filled with tears, holding my lifeless body and sobbing. It’s perfect.
I can see it from the dock; those golden sails that dim moonlight in their transparency. The flapping softboxes light the deck, now a scenic set, for the maritime music to slip through the air like a celestial whisper. The music drives closer as I see my intended passengers- those lost souls that seek guidance. Those souls were ghostly dancers on the ship, and that ship I could not cruise to the Hereafter.
They swayed in twos, gliding across the stage under the radiance of the stars that shined on them like moths under a flame, but they feared no longer. Under the delicacy of the melodies I could hear each spirit murmur to their partner-
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
-again and again like the chorus with no cadence.
It is my profession to bring those to peace, but some, few, do not need brought; few may find peace, but it is always in love.
I shredded my contracts as the vessel floated by and deemed such romance could stand the eternity it was sentenced.
Bridgette, you’ve done so well to get this far. You’ve been driven down by so many people walking all over you. I know you’ve cried rivers that could challenge the strongest levee- dam. But you still look so pretty.
Bridgette, I know you feel bipolar. You’ve always felt so divided. I know you feel like two different people. But you’re connected to both sides- they’re both you.
Bridgette, you’re not being used. You’re not just an unappreciated tool. You have to understand that you’re helping people.
Bridgette, all this success has been eight years in the making. You’ve really been making big strides to normalcy. But you’ve got to open up to me.