You and I both loved

“Cause you and I both loved
What you and I spoke of
And others just read of
Others only read of the love, the love that I love.” 

The economic beauty of a song lyric. The last line of a poem. The way it hits – da-DUM! – that heart thud reveal. It’s why we write a thousand lines. To get to this. To you. Sifted letters, finger trickles, and pounded keys – this constant turning over words. Just to get to this. To you.

And I …

You and I.

Not so little you and I, anymore.

A stranger said hey, what’s it about –  but you looked like a shot was fired. A gun powder flash across the face. My bullet lodged. Da-DUM!

I wrote a book.

And I never got to thank you.

“Cause you and I both loved what you and I spoke of
and others just read of, and if you could see me now
well then I’m almost finally out of 
I’m finally out of, finally …
well I’m almost finally, finally, out of words.”

Jason Mraz

Banksy Butterflies
Banksy – Suicide Butterflies

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Differently

Sometimes I remember differently.

I was thinking it might be the same for you.

Not the usual memories rolled across the fingertips and turned about. Not the ones worn down and through and out.

Sometimes these.

The heart-in-throat promise of opening doors. Arms, and falling against your neck. The sand-plane of your skin and distance closing. Thumb against lip and sugared veins. The shaking.

Sweeter.

Sometimes these.

Differently.

(I was thinking it might be the same for you)

Joanne Piechota image at body, remember
Image by Joanne Piechota

How we end it

I could never have imagined, one year ago, where we would be now. The first steps leading to the next, and how we all catch up to our ending, eventually. It’s never the big things, Ben. Never a catastrophe that starts it. That’s why they talk of butterflies and their wings. A tiny flutter, a small shift, and it begins.

A young woman accepts flowers from a man who likes to watch her dance. She’s been playing the Phoenix, rising and falling, living and dying, and he loves the way she moves her red wings. It starts and it stalls, and it begins again. She goes out for milk, older, tired, and doesn’t come home. He waits one morning, has always known where she is, these months she’s been gone. Some guy ties the laces on his battered red sneakers as this other man slips a knife into his pocket. Doesn’t even really think about the blade, just wants it there, against his thigh as the man in red sneakers ties his laces, one knot, and again. All these little movements pushing them forward. Toward each other.

Maybe it is fate. This catching up to what is waiting. The way everything seems to be connected. I can see that young girl, moving her red wings, hoping to be discovered, wanting to be seen. I can see the man, looking out the window, saying he’s never done anything like this before. Gone now, just ashes, like the dreams she had. And the other man, the one with grey eyes who is now buried under the ground, who covered her in the red of his blood, drowned in it, as she tried to save him. He was the one who saved her, of course. And she thanks him for it every day.

I didn’t mean to hurt you.

What exactly is it that we try to do, when we come into each other’s lives? Are we trying to rebuild our own? What made Maggie give up years of her life – seven, if Joe is to be believed – to live in the shadows of yours, Ben? What made Adam so careless with his own life, in his attempts to control mine? No doubt Anna’s God has something to say, but I find no comfort in God when the questions are as big as these. Fate, luck, faith, love. All viable explanations to how we got here.

But it is never the big things, Ben. Never the catastrophes that set us on our way. The catastrophe is how we end it. Our beginnings are a different thing entirely.

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In every beginning an ending is written …

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.” – TS Eliot, Four Quartets

I’m a better person for knowing you. For this invitation into your world, and the people you loved. I know why they loved you back, Ben. I know why they love you still. You were so loved. All of the mistakes, all of the regrets you might have felt that morning as you tied your shoes, as you set off for that run along the river. They don’t count for anything in the end. They are not the things you leave behind; the mistakes are not what we remember.

We remember the impact made. We remember the aching, tender, breaking impression left upon us. We remember how people change us, and how if we are lucky, that impact changed them too. This is love, Ben, at the end of the day. And love is what we remember most of all.

I have to go now. Time to meet Maggie for cake and wine. Mostly wine, I would imagine. We have a birthday to celebrate. A new beginning. An ending too, after nine months without you. I know I’m going to have to confess my part in this to her. Eventually. But that story belongs to a different ending. Or a whole other beginning. See, I keep coming back to this, Ben. The idea that beginnings and endings are one and the same. And that a connection like ours is never truly severed.

It just changes. Expands. I was not wrong when I said that surviving is one of the hardest things to endure. It means to live beyond. And to live beyond what you once had, you have to let go of the past. You can’t hold on too long, not when you have to move on. Not if you want to survive. But Ben, you take the love with you. Of this I am certain.

I have to go now. Time to meet Maggie for cake and wine. Mostly wine, I would imagine. We have a birthday to celebrate.

The End at body, remember

Eidyia’s Note: This past week I wrote the last lines of body, remember. The journey I started here on this blog 22 months ago has lead me to an 80,000 word manuscript ,and I’m now one giant leap closer to my dream of being a published author. For a writer, I’m not even sure I have the words to say how it feels … but I’m taking it in. Before the endless edits begin!!