The Night I Gave Up
Bella. The night I gave up she wore white shorts and heavenly curves and she was lovely and oozed the carefree fluidity and litheness of youth and I will never remember anything else. I saw her waiting for me somewhere beneath the shadows of trees or were they electrical poles and I instantly felt guilty and slightly ashamed and maybe too much like a man struck by lightening. Bella. Maybe I lingered just a few moments too long. Looking at her, beautiful beyond argument, I felt I was looking at something I had no right being privy to.
And I wished I wouldn’t go through with it.
We drove past a cemetery and it was the darkest place on the block and the universe. My mind went blank and there was a lull in our conversation. I have nothing to give, no thoughts, and certainly not to ghosts and causes, even those draped in flags. There’s a silent and bloodless war no one covers anymore. The erosion of life as we know it. No one cares. The dead are accorded oratory to remind us of them. Who cares about the living?
What do I have to give, Bella? How have you not yet seen through me.
Today? Life is indeed too much for me. I give enough to the outstretched arms of the world and still it demands more. More. I do not have anything left in me. I do not know how I’ll make it through today much less tomorrow without losing my mind. I feel myself slowly creeping to the edge, a casualty. But she’s here now. I do not tell her these things. I smile. We live.
I look for small victories and blow them out of proportion just to give myself a reason to live. And the way she moves and feeds my eyes is a gift from the sky. And every moment with her is a year and blaze like the chirping of a billion crickets that drown every other sound from the night. I drink to her, to them, to the sweet oases in this desert of life. Growing up is the slow and painful reclaiming of fairytale dreams. But tonight I live all my possible years in the moments of our kisses.
And maybe this one night is enough for me.