Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Part Two:

By the time he came out of the void her body was already gone, tucked away inside the darkness of the van up on the road. He remembered that he couldn't move any part of his own body except his eyelids and the first thing that he saw was the broken sun filtering through the leaves on the trees. Not long before she had commented on the way the rays of light separated into streams and ran down through the earth. With a laugh she had wondered if the two of them could find their way down as well so that they might touch the pulsing beating life of the planet the way that the sun did. Later they discovered that they did possess such an ability, aching and wild and carnivorous, both of them tasting the smile on their lips.

His eyes closed again because he couldn't think straight with them open.

Where did they go? What did they find inside that hesitant shiver?

They found her body thirty yards beyond the crumpled steel, where it came to rest. She never liked to wear her seatbelt, no matter how much he mentioned it, and she didn't buckle up when they left their little slice of heaven this time either. He could hear her wispy breathe sliding through the leaves, mingling with the sun and he knew that she was trapped here, that her energy remained and what was lying in that van was only a hollow husk. When he opened his eyes again they were stinging with tears and in the blur he saw her darting above him like a shadow, like the wind. He couldn't move his arm to wipe the tears away. He wanted to see her one more time before they took him from her. He wanted to touch the place where they had found their hearts before they took him back to all the sadness. But he couldn't move. He couldn't even speak to her.

He had held her too long and too hard in order to maintain the momentum of what they'd discovered out here, but due to his lack of haste they went beyond the edge of reason and forgiveness and stumbled into the depths. They found confusion in the whirlwind and gave in to the ghost of nature. He wanted to trade places with her. He didn't want to know the world without her. But what could he do?

He clenched his eyes closed and gripped at the darkness again. He called out for her hoping that she might be able to reach him, to give him her hand and take him with her. For a moment he felt himself descending into the nothingness again and his heart soared. Her face began to waver into view and he wanted to scream and grapple for her, to ache for her embrace no matter how dark it became. But his life was not ready to leave him.

“Can you hear me?”

It wasn't her voice, the woman who spoke to him.

“Sir, are you awake?”

He felt the shiver convulse through him and knew that it was immense sadness, the kind that couldn't remain with a heart still beating. But there it was, radiating out cold and empty.

“Sir, I need you to open your eyes if you can hear me.”

And she was no longer with him. Her softness dissipated and swarmed like the wind over the countryside. Hadn't they looked down from above not so long ago, like a hawk circling high, and spotted their jumbled bodies savoring the sweet mesh of skin on skin? How could that be gone forever? Didn't they find it? Didn't they just learn how to keep it and never let go?

But it was fading, the memory already becoming dull and lifeless as he climbed back up into the vision of the real. He was hurting, probably permanently damaged and he suddenly recognized that there truly was very little he could now do. He needed to give up, to the voice of authority that beckoned him.

“Please, open your eyes. I know that you can hear me.”

And even though he knew that it wouldn't be her face that he was going to see, he went ahead and opened them anyway.

(go to Part Three)

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