Friday, September 5, 2008

soundtrack to life

topic of conversation.

movie moments. ones that seem as if to be directed solely for you, that have applied elements like the perfect song or set lighting. beautiful moments, crisp ones, ones that don't have any room for imperfection... that bring tears to your eyes just for the sheer beauty of the nature of the moment.

martha's wedding. on the beach, a little place on the coast of queens, at the very bottom. a little nook called breezy pointe. i was the tallest (how strange...), and i walked with my escort first. only close relatives and friends came to the ceremony, which was about fifteen feet from the water and set up like a beach ampitheatre, with a speaking pedestal in the middle of the aisle and an archway wrapped in a flowing tulle material. the walk from the limo was long and the sand sunk underneath my feet, settling in between my toes and underneath my nails. as i stood and watched my dear friend make her walk of a lifetime, in her beautiful white and platinum corseted dress, hair curled perfectly in a bouquet on top of her head, i couldn't stop thinking to myself that someone had painted this day into existence. the wind, which evidently from the name of the town was usually much more violent, was a whisper on my skin, wrapping me in a gentle, invisible embrace. the sky was clear, the color of blueberry jello, and as the sun sank below the inlet it gave the impression that someone was melting cotton candy over all our heads. there was no sound except for her cousin speaking and the soft lapping of waves upon the banks.

as martha and ralph kissed their union into being, bells chimed in the distance, slow and sweet, perfectly timed.

i was alone then, but i was very content. i made circles in the sand with my toes and kicked the water into the city skyline behind us, and thought about the days when martha and i would smoke pot on her living room floor, wrapped in comforters and watching the muppets take manhattan. it was perfect, and it wasn't even my wedding.

or, san francisco. i had gone to a show in soma and met a boy that drove a velo, because it was cheaper and easier to maneuver than a car. he took me to a place called russian hill, just over chinatown, close to the harbor. it seemed like we walked forever, as he was assuring me it was almost over and that i wouldn't be disappointed in where we were going. but when we got there, he got a phone call from his girlfriend and walked away to talk to her, leaving me in a hidden garden in between several houses. kind of like a garden cul de sac, overlooking the island of alcatraz. it was 5:30 and beginning to get cold, and i wrapped my useless hoodie around me, hugging myself.

and then this moment of brilliance, in the middle of silence. the fog that rolled in over the city every night was creeping around me, like dry ice out of the couldrons your elementary teachers would serve punch from at halloween parties.

i was alone then, but i was very content. i watched alcatraz disappear, then the rooftops, and finally, my hands in front of my face. i thought about how maybe the fog would make me disappear with it, and with it as well, all my conflict in my head.

and i cant forget this past christmas. my mother and my two brothers were in the front yard of our mountain house, walking their dogs in the cold. and out of nowhere, snow. it was light at first, a few flakes peppered across the pine trees. it fell heavier and heavier, until the ground became white and crunchy under our feet, and flecked our faces with tiny pricks of chill. i couldn't take my eyes off the sky though, and i remained outside after all the rest grew tired of the novelty. it caught on my eyelashes and hair, and i opened my mouth to taste the newness of the sky falling all around me. it was clean. it was pure. it was everything i felt i didn't have at that moment. the silence was a different kind of silence, where you knew you were alone but could feel all of the life surviving around you, breathing with you, letting you know that this too will pass.

i was alone then, but i was very content. i watched my parents curled in a blanket by the fire, still together after all the potholes over the course of 30 years. my brother and his fiancee, a new chapter in their lives slowly being molded, as they sipped hot tea from steaming mugs, and laughing at my younger brother who was messing with the dogs. i thought about what newness i wanted in my life from that point on, and how i could get my heart mended from the bruised and scarred place it had been before that.

it seems my best movie moments are those that no one else can ever touch. i have been alone for most of my life, waiting for the day that someone else can help me share what i consider to be perfection.

i am alone in missouri right now, not very content. it's missouri, how could i be? but you never know. it could fool me too, for i thought that alone was all i ever wanted in life. i'm starting to think differently.


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