Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009
The beep of my mobile phone tells me that he is back. His feet could have hit the ground at any stage during the day, but I knew I would not see him until later on in the afternoon. He always leaves me guessing. I spent the day with my best friend in a new city. We walked as we talked about all the paths we want to play out. We held paper cups full of bitter coffee in our hands. I checked my phone more than I would have liked that day. I have never been so impatient or anxious. I have never been so sure.
Light blue to orange colored the sky. Late afternoon was approaching and a sinking feeling like quicksand sat in the pit of my stomach. I opened my arms to each and every beautiful distraction. Brown eyed boys and lips stained red from squashed grapes. Empty green bottles line the kitchen windows. I straighten out the creases in my white sheets. I lay my body down and stare out at the trees that somehow remain green despite the lack of rain. I still do not feel guilty about the absurd length of my bi-daily showers. I will stand beneath that shower head until every single worry is washed away. And that is what I did. I wash my hair and I hang my head. I do every little thing I can to make myself feel like the person I am. And then I let my wet hair soak into the sheets of my bed.
Words are written in order to settle my mind. I need so badly to get back to that place where I won’t drop to my knees as soon as my eyes see his face. He is just a boy, like any other. I turn up the volume to keep my mind on track. A melodic distraction in the face of perfection. As I pin my hair back I isolate the predominant thoughts in my mind: I am growing increasingly impatient…but I know this is not the right time. The tug-of-war between these two opposing thoughts is a battle I am prepared to raise the white flag for. Self confliction is exhausting. I want to give all my energy to each avenue of thought, but I fall short when it comes to this newly found impatience. Swimming against the current will do that to a girl. And so, with a newly acquired mindset, I decide to be completely present during the experience. I decide not to let my mind wonder off in quiet contemplation.
I see him even before he makes contact with my front door. The sun has painted his skin a darker shade and his hair tells a story of a boy who sat alone in the wilderness for over seven days. I can see his shadow in the corridor as he knocks without end on a good friend’s door.
“Hey hey!” I exclaim as we meet halfway in an embrace.
“So! Tell me everything!” I say as we make our way into the kitchen.
It is his smile that gives him away. I can tell that he has come out of the woods and into the light. We all knew he would. But what we didn’t know is how profoundly he would do so. Just being around him is electric. He is calm but wired; he is relaxed but skittish; he is renewed but exhausted. He raises his arms to the sky as he tries his best translate the awe felt as he surrendered himself to Mother Nature. He shakes his head from side to side as he relays the turbulent times to me. I am doing my best to visualise a landscape as foreign to me as outer space. Stories are swapped over a table full of food and night falls around us and the cityscape. Questions rise and fall. The answers always lead off somewhere else. The point is always forgotten. But we laugh nonetheless as our tummies swell from being overfed.
I have heard many times before that you should consider yourself lucky to count your good friends on one hand. These are the ones that lift you higher, the ones that challenge you to be better and seek out something that is unique and meaningful for you. They love you, eat with you, dance with you, cry with you, laugh with you, dream with you….they are the ones that make you question the things that matter. They are the ones that give meaning to the mundane and connect you to something inconceivably bigger.
As we fell asleep that night, I felt absolute contentment that people like this actually exist. The sound of his breathing made its way up to where I lay and just before I the night stole me away I whispered a prayer to whoever was listening…thank you.