The silence is suffocating, I can hear not only my heartbeat but the quiet susurration of my blood. The cats are both asleep, two soft weights draped over my hips. I can’t hold them close, they’ll wake and wander away in search of a late night snack or some invisible ghost to chase. I wonder, briefly, if it’s possible to dream while so awake, at least rest the brain, but discard the thought, preferring to try and imagine where the people I love are right now. Various time-zones away, some of them aren’t all that far.
South three hours by plane, he’ll be asleep, strewn like an elegant game of pick-up sticks in his bed, lying feral on his left side, pillow loosely clutched to his head, hair caught in his fingers, cute in a way that tugs at my lungs, steals my breath, inspires me to slowly cut away his invariable black t-shirt with a pair of silver scissors and wake him with my tongue whispering poetry to his closed eyes. Stories of drinking in Vegas, Passover, his panic at the word marriage, how we laughed into every single night. Somewhere there will be a red curtains, a disco ball, a potted palm tree, and a video game console.
Another mind-set, seven hours hard drive in the direction of the impossible dawn, someone older, obsessive, more emotional than I could ever learn to be. Skin a different texture than mine, our hands exactly the same size. A half-fictional time-line, we’ve only spent time in hotels, I don’t even know what colour his sheets might be. The only picture I have is comfort, taking second place, offering a place of safety to someone falling apart. When we were together, there were no camp ground rules, if he fell down, he would try to take me with him, though accidentally. Eventually I cut the tether. Life got better. Now we could stand on a roof and scream at the stars together, if we were so inclined. Which we’re not. So don’t ask me to.
One day ahead and five hours behind, another sweet Jewish boy, like a new melodic theme, currently so far away the seasons have flipped, but not so far that we don’t have darkness at similar times. It’s not late enough for him to tucked into bed with the rest of us, however, so I lose my thread, can’t kiss him awake, begin mentally scanning pictures I’ve seen of the general antipode of the North Atlantic Ocean. Lush beaches, insanely colourful coral reefs, endless summer, dry dusty wastes, and ridiculous movies I love dearly. Lethal wild-life, big bouncing rat-things with gigantic feet. Some big rock right in the middle. Nowhere I can clearly place him. I’m bad at this game. Instead, I can picture him playing, his incredible, wry smile drenched in sweat, the effort of his music literally dripping off in waves. I can picture a stage, something festival, hemp clothing, om beaded necklaces, something wide and tent-like, people dancing, and the perpetual threat of rain. Completely and utterly wrong. He’s probably at dinner, I should go to bed. This is presumably the sort of thing that drives little girls mad in Victorian novels. Oh Herr Frankstein, only speak when you’re spoken to. Don’t use the wrong cutlery. Remember to sleep.
Seattle: March 18th.