The storm’s knocked out lights in the city tonight, so many it’s possible to see stars. I felt a flutter of silent excitement when I found out, but I live too far away from the dark zones to prowl through like I want to.
Late, drizzling black, cold through the curtains, the cats have gone to bed without me. I’m resolved to get through at least ten more photos from my trip to Alberta, sort through, pick out the clear ones, fix the colour, try to resist the urge to pick up the phone and call long-distance. He’s got time off, the most since I’ve met him, and somehow this makes the silence unbearable in a way that it wasn’t before. Thoughts unworthy of living inside of my skull, walking down back alleys, scrawling poetry on the walls. Conversations flit through, scattering sentences, accuracy slithering away like a harshly edited student film. Jumpy, erratic, stretches of time where I can’t make out the words for the mumbling colours that are freezing the frame. Last week I had it, the week before that it was verbatim.
The pictures help, they soothe the feeling of thinning memory, of intimacy and time stretched too dim. As always, I wish I had taken more, captured us at the Greek restaurant, how he made me laugh so hard I thought I might die, or during the ride from Calgary to Edmonton, his brown eyes lightening with confessions, delicious history spun into a rope to tie us together, handcuffs made of the darkness of the classroom where he put his head on the desk and passed out as a child. I smile just to think of it, grin madly when no one is looking. Stories, the oldest magic, scratched out of experience, perfect, solid, swallowed and digested whole. The terrible things offered for sale in a truck stop bath-room as we travelled North, anticipating how we might be late. On the phone with the manager, writing directions down on the inside flap of a travel book map. Why we didn’t order chicken feet, the immortality of sharks, wondering if the police should be called if I went missing. How he laughs. The bare outlines of history filling in with names, anecdotes, similar feelings from disparate narratives. What it felt like to be one day closer or to kiss him.
It makes me wish I were a visual artist, so I could draw the moments I missed with my camera, illustrate the wonder of my heart as it sang with the vibration of his blinding, sweet consideration. I am starved for these images, worried I will not write them down in time, will not examine them with a heavy enough contemplation to lock them into place for later, to turn in my head like a crystal splashing pure white light into colour.