I wrote this for a particular friend, for reasons I can’t adequately explain…
The omnipresent smell of salty sea air, combined with a whisper of wind blowing from the coast. It reminds you of the first cup of coffee, sitting on the patio table in the early hours of the morning, wisps of steam idly finding its path upward. The youthful day sits before you, beckoning the sun to come out and greet the world. The children still slumber, oblivious, inside. One of your favorite books lies on the table next to your coffee, each page like a neglected friend, waiting to be welcomed again. When you first read that book, you didn’t know that the word eternity meant both the promise of deep love and the forgetful nature of ticking seconds. Those days, you could count on hearing the laugh, feeling the hand touch your shoulder unexpectedly and know that the voice would fill your ears with easy comfort. The jar of your life seemed full – and you saw no need to guess the number of such moments contained therein.
Although you are sitting in an unparalleled world of sights and wonders, all you can see in your mind’s eye is the smile, the one that placed small handfuls of careful warm embers in your heart. How can the world continue without it? You often wondered, hands often clenched in subdued frustration, words trapped in the confines of your throat.
Now, as time slips past, you want to be back in that moment, the one burgeoning with the swell of future moments.
Though the world still daily fills with wondrous magic and its own rewards, you calculate the price to return for even one brief moment to that cup of coffee, the sound of the door slipping open behind you, the voice shattering your internal monologue. You turn your head, the breeze lifting your hair imperceptibly, and you see again, like the man struggling to reach the mirage of water ahead. The smile envelopes you, the memory comforting that staggering void that travels like a stowaway as your constant companion.
Even as you wake, the salt recedes, the sun relents and fades to a shadow, and the laugh reverberates and dwindles. It is a somnambulist’s promise to meet again. A solitary tear, as always, gathers and reluctantly makes it descent down your cheek, only to be absentmindedly brushed aside as the day makes its demands.
Some speculate that our dreams are but a biological effect of our complicated mind purging itself. I would believe it too, except that I for one could easily be lulled into a permanent world of remembered moments, of sunrises and familiar words on a page, of love so intense that it seemed impossible to trust its merit.
Rejoice. It is your day – and you carry every memory of those you hold close to your heart. You are their surrogate, the one left behind to continue the march. One day, if you are lucky, someone will awake with the whisper of your presence in their thoughts and even if for a fleeting moment, wish that your absence were remedied by both love and momentary magic.
I posted this to social media. I was overwhelmed by the positive comments I got. It touche a nerve in all who read it, the highest praise for a hack like me.