What a long week it has been. I relax in my own comfy chair next to an open window in the corner of my living room. I watch the tiny movements of the maple leaves and listen to the traffic on Granville and beyond. The chirp that accompanies pedestrian crossings on either end of my block. This feels like the first moment of stillness in months, but we only arrived on Tuesday.
I’m surrounded by boxes after four days of a near empty apartment. We had a miscommunication with the moving company; our stuff was not delivered when we had expected, so we had to make do with what we had crammed in the car and what our new building manager was kind enough to lend us. Sleeping on an air mattress notwithstanding, it was nice to get to know our new living space without our possessions.
The building is old . A little run down, but comfortable. Charming and colourful and compact without feeling cramped. A nice change after the soulless townhouse in Edmonton. Oh, it was a decent place to live for the time we were there, but it had no mystery. This place already feels like it wants to be home.
It has been a week of motion. By car, by bike, on foot. I’ve walked kilometres this week. In sun and shade and cloud. Walked down to surprise tall ships off Kitsilano Beach. To an excellent sushi place. To Granville Island. Up and down the shops near our place. Re-learning my feet.
Tomorrow, I start work. I don’t know if the ordinary style of permanence that a job gives life will tip me into the reality of my situation. Because it still feels like I’m just visiting. Even though everything I own in the world is here. I’m not really here yet. Because if I’m really here, almost everyone I want to share this adventure with is too far away. And I’m not ready for that.
I abandoned the fashionable to learn to think of my own heart and soul. To explore empty alleys of my past littered with scraps of half-decayed paper. All these years constructing logic for the illogical. Severing myself from a wellspring to drift on well-aired currents of collective conscious.
I’m not home yet. Wandered half-circle and of course we go only forward. This never-ending loop. Maybe yet I’ll learn humility. Maybe yet I’ll learn to search my own pockets for treasure. Maybe this time, I won’t forget to take you with me. And open windows will remind me to sweep cobwebs from intercostal muscles.
If we listen closely, we remember to hear mortality with something other than fear. Not eagerness. Something less than reluctance. The point closer to exhaustion when we simply put down our lives and settle into whatever comes next. Nothing. Eternity. Whatever we believe to be behind our eyes and deep within our ears. Filling our stomachs and tucked beneath our spleens. With something more than scraps of music we’ve forgotten all the words to.
I watch this process. Impartial, impersonal, implacable. March through lives and lives again. I’m not the first to watch this. I’m not watching for the first time. I’m not watching alone. But we’re all staring in different directions and fighting the oblique angles of ourselves.
At the end of all years, I will claim these for my soul: Guitar strings. Wine saturating the tongue with oak and fruit. Leisurely sunrises at the 53rd parallel in mid-winter. My voice, shaded and shaken with too many years. Old stories recovered in threadbare patterns of narrative.
While I was breathing the footsteps of a city, the concrete click of hard boots on tile, I was striking perception against a skyline to see if anything would spark. I could only hope that your mind was tinder-dry and splintered, carefully stacked to flare into blaze. A crackle of leaves in the shape of paper soaked with flammable ink. So your pupils would reflect a phrase I should have shared last night, obscured in the haze of scotch and other whiskeys.
The explanations became unreachable. Like the breaking point of your chin. The cliff where tears and sweat plummet to your chest without touching a finger or the heel of a hand. And we became tangled in syllables of sympathy that removed the burden of affection.
Because the truth is, darling, love like this is possible for any mirror image. The inverse of colours folding in reflection. You were smudged lines and smeared edges waiting for my visual cortex to interpret you.