Bridges and Brides

1 09 2006

On the Coronado

I am standing at my bridge, my bride. I can barely hear the cars passing by. Every second is worth a year in their lives, and every moment seems slow and relentless. I can imagine the waves luring my lifeless body to the depths, so I believe in a cold peace with life. When I turn to let go, as I fall in my far too perfect suit, I reach out, to be saved by you. And when I close my eyes, I’ll pretend that you (at least you) noticed I left the reception, and between giggling with our stale friends, you missed me.

I stopped believing in love when I was eighteen; or maybe I stopped believing that love is difficult to understand. It was as if I had taken an old photograph of a couple kissing, and rather than tear it apart or deconstruct it, or anything I would soon learn to do in college, I just simply held it and valued it for what it was (and wasn’t). A photo of an elderly man holding his once-beautiful bride, kissing aged lips not for sensation, but for passion, not forced out of habit, but genuinely. While you can spend hours dissecting love, you inevitably reach that bland, awful conclusion – that love simply “is”. And though that’s a nothing way to say everything, you eventually get there – maybe earlier, but usually by your late-twenties.

When I left college, in the late seventies, most of my friends still experimented with sex, drugs, anything really. Though they eventually settled into their pays-the-bills jobs, they hadn’t grown up. Sure, they were “dealing with life”. And no one can fault Mark for sinking into depression after his daughter died. Even though he hadn’t seen her or her mother since they hooked up sometime in college. And no one can get upset with Andy when his corporation folded. Even though he spent the profits on tuning his car. What is maturity to them but a series of disasters?

So I leave this note to you my wife, mother of seven years, partner of fifteen. Haven’t we planned everything so perfectly well? There were small things, like candles, and I would wait patiently for you to remember me, to light them. But someone’s candle must have burned your skin, because you forgot to last year. I waited motionless that year as the breathes I took were stolen by the children and your job, by the sky that occupied your camera’s eye and the troubles you wouldn’t share. “We’ve got more important things now, can’t you see?” I could, honey, and while you watched them, who watched me? And it struck me sometime in December as I watched a man fall from the sky that small little angels don’t give men second tries. So I gathered my thoughts and all of my cares, and I walked to your door, our door, and I kissed you there. Didn’t you see desperation in my eyes? The desire to care and protect in my passionate eyes? Love, my dear, is not what you get but what you get to give. So I stopped believing in love when I was eighteen, not for a lack of love, but because love doesn’t exist if it isn’t shared. And last year, the light has gone out altogether.

I know this will never answer some questions. Those are the questions left unanswered. Remember that night we had a date in the small town by the shore? There was a beautiful flower, dazzling really. You offered to run to the car to get the camera. Instead I took your hand and reminded you that some things aren’t meant to be photographed, just .. remembered.

I want you to be there before I get there. Stop me at the bridge, save me. Hold me and never let me go again. Kiss my heart with fire, and I’ll pick you up in these tiring arms, lift you up. But you won’t be there, will you my darling?



One response

1 09 2006

I hope I’ve never made you feel this way

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