This is several months old, but was written around the same time and by the same inspiration as With a Y, so I figured I'd put it up. It's one of those things that is about both one person and no one specific, and has become quite significant in my mind over the last few weeks.
This is, as best as I can summarize, what has been, what could be, what is, and what will surely be (not be confused with the badass Zeppelin tune of similar name.
And maybe one day you will hear the story that only Lachelle has heard: the emergency Washington getaway that has come to define, in so many different ways, both the best and worst thematic tropes that life seems to drop into the subtext of everything we do. Which, to be fair, is something by which I am very comforted.
Flirting with an internalized self-actualization can be a dangerous thing, but sometimes yields pleasant surprises (or reminders, as the case may be).
In a brief aside, it'll be a good night tonight; Wayne and I are playing at a ward gathering for a professor of mine and we get to try out our fancy new harmonies utilizing the unstoppable musical vehicle that IS country folk. Then it's a salmon dinner, The Iron Giant (don't worry; I have two copies), and a passive smile.
I hope you're working very, very hard.
I sit on your bed, marveling at how well-composed your photo collage on the wall is. I find myself looking for open spots, small spaces where you would find room to slip a picture of us holding hands on the beach, you with your head on my shoulder at the top of a snow-dusted mountain, an early morning on the road to God Only Knows. I see a particular corner of the bulletin board where there would be just enough space to slip one of those strips-of-four photo booth type of pictures, and I envision it in my mind:
First frame: Goofy Faces, wherein: you bug out your eyes and stick out your tongue, while I act surprised as to your decidedly un-ladylike manner.
Second frame: Sexy Faces, wherein: you squint and pout your lips, while I suggestively arch my eyebrows and pucker oh-so-magnetically.
Third frame: Recovering Faces, wherein: the hilarity of the moment has overtaken you and you can no longer maintain your composure and you laugh so heartily that anyone that looks at the picture can almost audibly hear the chuckle I have come to fall in love with, while I smile sweetly at my good fortune.
Fourth (and final) frame: Kissing Faces. Self-explanatory.
I’m strumming a country blues song on your guitar and you drift between sleep and consciousness and your hair, even from the opposite end of the bed, smells like juniper and kisses goodnight and, somehow, I can hear you smile. Your eyes stay closed and I decide to quit while I’m ahead. I put down your guitar, turn off your light, and kiss your forehead before whispering you a “Sleep well.” I quietly trudge upstairs to the guest bedroom you so graciously prepared.
I crawl into the bed that’s far too empty and try to convince myself that no, I haven’t just realized that what I’ve been looking for for all of these years has manifested itself in a beautiful girl on an overcast night on a tiny island: the only place in the world where the view could possibly be as beautiful as you.
But, like with most others things, I fail. That night, I dream of northwestern summers and rain-soaked kisses, ferry rides and open skies, requited love and road trips to nowhere.
Now it's tomorrow.
And let me be clear: I don’t bury my fingers in your hair because it’s soft (it is) or because you like the way it feels (you do) or because I can feel the pulsing, almost tribal rhythms of your pulse (I can). I do it because the longer I touch your hair, the more I glide between strands and the more my fingers dance between the wheat-blonde streaks, the longer they’ll continue to smell like you. The longer you’ll linger with me, almost a part of me, enough that all I have to do is raise my fingertips to my nose and allow the juniper and coconut and passions to leap through my olfactory receptors and into my conscious mind and remind me that there is a God and He is just because you are here.
I know that there’s more going on for you right now than this. I know that I’ve interrupted other things and that my timing is hardly something to be praised, but that’s okay. I feel like I’ve loved you for so long from far away that loving you up close is a nice change and a step in the right direction.
And one day, you’ll wake up and decide that mine are the arms in which you want to wake, that you want to fall asleep next to me and wake up likewise, thus sparing both of us from even unconscious moments apart. And on that day, I think, I will be able to sleep, because the longing for your trembling will and the curiosity as to the taste of your neck will be satiated, and there will nothing for which I will want to stay awake.
I’ll sleep soundly. You’ll see.