Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Kissing your soul mate goodbye as they head to college and you are left behind - a senior now, finally in the big time, but no one to share it with and feeling like you might die.
Summer keeps the heat, but its growing cold in your heart, just like the leaves that are starting to change. Fall is upon us all - how could it end so fast? For a time all you could think about was those blessed three months of freedom - staying up late, watching gameshows the following morning - finding something to do. Gone, all gone.
And now you're thirty-eight, you've been working that nine-to-five for over 15 years - paying a mortgage, taxes, deciding whether to end the lease on your car - should you buy it or go for another option? Decisions that seem as ordinary and dull as the ones your parents had made - but now you are your parents. You work for retirement - for an eternal summer until you die.
You will die - like those leaves on the vine - you will cease to exist like a puff of smoke. You will either be incinerated or buried deep underground. You will be no more. And yet, here you are - you are now in your fifties, your children are nearly grown. You stopped caring about the paunch on your belly and your body adds new wrinkles on a daily basis.
You wonder to yourself - was it worth it? Was all of it worth it? You think back to when you were throwing firecrackers down that abandoned well, how you saw something. Something that seemed to grin back at you - something that you were pretty sure had moved.
You're in your seventies now - your spouse has died, but you are still here. Much like those days when that person (what was their name, you try to remember, what was my first loves name?) left for college. You have once again been left behind.
And you go back to that well - and it's still there. The well is hidden by tall grass and weeds and is covered by a rotting wooden plank. You say to hell with the caterpillars and spiders and whatever it is that lives underneath that plank, and you push it off.
The well is still deep, it is dark, and it smells of long ago fireworks that were sent in a blaze to the fathoms below.
You call out, "Hello." And there is a flutter of something deep inside. Your heart races, but it hasn't beaten hard in years and you welcome it. Your youth is down that well - if you could capture it again, you will have won - you have made it worth it.
You hang your feet over the edge - and it is climbing now, the clicking of bone on stone. Your ankles are freezing, and it is crawling up your legs, your torso, and into your arms.
Your teeth are chattering as you feel its tender grip on your foot.
You look down, and you have no more air to scream - the air has left you. Your eyes bulge as you stare back at its misshapen mouth and red glowing eyes.
And you fall - into the deep and dark, into the places that not even a firecracker would remain alight. And yet, you are alive - but if only for a moment - before you shatter into an infinity of planets and galaxies and whatever it is that rolls around the cosmos.
And you begin again - because October is upon us - because the Fall is calling. Death be not proud, but always be near.
That time has come again - lifting the veil for another year.