If the Wet Air Remembered Something

If the wet air remembered something, the dry lost it. I felt it the first time around. It made me feel I would never see you again, but you when your voice appeared I cringed. Was that the feeling? I couldn’t remember you when I was with you, but when you left, your memory never left me. The shadow followed me on early mornings when I woke up and it overflowed me until the afternoon when I was ready for dusk to tuck me into night. Goodnight.

Dear Love:
I have not visited for a long time now. I have been hiding, afraid. Afraid, but not to see you but to forget you, to hide with you. The other feelings knocked and touched my hand, and they stayed at the door, close by and watching. The canyons dropped low, and there was no water, only a rushing dry. The dry came through the winter. And in the rush, we felt no rest, rest. Let me show you to lay your head down, rest.

If we were part of something, we didn’t think of it. If we had known something, we walked by it. I remember the sounds of cars and the edges of the street, the sidewalk, the color of the ground, but the sky I will always remember as grey.

If the wet air remembered something.

If the darkened clouds told me something, I would listen, but I carried on. I rode by you and by the forested wood, and I saw the hedgerow and the horses breathing deep into the autumn air, where the leaves were the brightest yellow and orange that yellow and orange could be. I smiled in the grey.

Deep down into the well was a memory that fed on the moss along the walls. Little things that grew and clung, never seeing the sun. I miss them all.

I carried my things close to me. I heard the sounds of birds around me. I heard your voice, laughing. I’ll raise my drink to you, and I’ll remember your face on Bethnal Green Road. I’ll remember your face in East Dulwich. I’ll remember your face on Walworth and Old Street, on Whitechapel and Holborn. So many faces, so many voices, and my memory hid in the well, fed on the moss along the walls.

I bought a ticket. I left my life. I wanted to see the sun.

Dear Friend:
My heart slipped along the sides of the well, and I reached to you, and in the dark I gasped, “Will there be sun?” You replied, “Look above you. The sun was always there. You can’t see it, but it’s always there.” And I shook my head and said back, “If you were to lie to me, would I ever know?” And you said, “No, but would there be a difference?” It was not your fault but mine.

We felt the nightmares of inertia. We did big things. We wanted to be big things. We left. In the darkest places, in the darkest moments, we saw we weren’t just moving, but we were dancing.

I danced in the cold. I danced in the rain. I danced, heart bleeding, danced.

I laid down, my head pounding, the rain thudding against the window, which changed for the silent wet of every day, and I rose. I walked to the door, and down the steps into the rose garden, and out the gate, and I stood in the rain, and I smelled the wet street with the wet sounds of the cars thudding nearby, waiting, the taxi cabs and walking people with umbrellas on the London mews.

You came to me in the damp air, the rain whispering, “forget, forget”, and I saw your face, and I felt all the longing the sordid memory of obligation, and I said, “You don’t belong here. Go now. This isn’t your time. Your time has gone.”

You left but the shadow of a thought. I returned to the sun, and the rain was washed to a past.

If you came closer. If you came around here. You would see the memory still lives in the moss, in the well, in the dark, and on rainy days, I think of you.

Thames, dear, Thames.

London, dear, London.

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