Have you ever just been walking down the street and seen someone, a stranger maybe, and just imagined a life with them? This series is about that idea, a collection of random sightings and the stories that follow.
There are no hellos today, in the early morning rush. There are no smiles, no nods of quiet acknowledgement. There is only a crowd of people too busy trying not to look to remember to see. Yet somehow all it takes is one misplaced glance, and then you’re looking at me, and I’m smiling at you.
You smile back. And it’s such a sad smile. I would comfort you, kiss you better, warm your cold hands against my chest. I would care, and look, and listen when you didn’t speak, cry when you couldn’t tear. I would hold you when you apologized, hold you so you wouldn’t break, telling you that something in this fucking world still loved you.
Someone in this fucking world loves you.
We head to the beach, because you’re stressed and I’m tired and the whole world is falling apart over our feet and under our heads. The sand is cool, it’s evening and the sun has set, but I have a flashlight and you have a battery and we’re going to have fun today. Tonight we’ll run with shaking legs over sandy paths and sneaking waves, howling into the moon like unlonely wolves because this is more life than anything we live.
I’ll build you a sand castle if you prepare the clay, I say, and suddenly we’re laughing, crying, rolling around in grains of immortality and rust. The tides are pulsing, up and up, inexorably, beating on our perfect refuge, but today we’ll ignore them. Let them chip away at our sinking sands, take what they can, but we’ll build and build and build and they’ll never catch us.
The day is long but your phone rings and it’s your boss. It’s all questions with only one answer and expectations that can’t be met and when you hang up, you’re leaving. But I grab that one receding foot that you leave back in eternity and pull you back from the now and back into whenever. Because this is living more than life.
Now we’re sleeping in the sand with nothing but ourselves, digging holes of self-sufficiency and filling them with all we need, my body and yours. The waves can come, come, come, and we will stay, stay, stay, because this is all we need, you are all I need. So stay, and sleep.
This could be!, I should scream, this could be! But I’m going to walk on by, because you’re not her, and eventually, everything comes back to her. It’s a fucking destructive cycle, and everything ends at her. I shouldn’t love her, I can’t hate her, I won’t be her.
And I walk on by, two strangers and a sudden instant over in a moment.