This, Above All Else, Is Foolishness


It is foolishness, I know, to feel this way so soon.

Perhaps it is my foolish heart that allows these feelings to grow. Or perhaps it is my youthful bliss that refuses to see anything but silver linings and the half full of things. My incessant ability to disregard every negative possible outcome and convince myself that the only thing that could now possible happen is the happy ending. The world is inherently good, I tell myself. It has to be, or what is the point?

It can be a deadly spiral, this unchecked optimism that seems to plague me. Everyday where the victory that I expect to occur slips away, the defeat becomes ever more devastating. The failures mount, just like it does for everyone else at one point or another. But it is my foolhardy optimism that makes it so enchantingly easy to take the failure in stride. To retrieve the lesson that failure has left in my sieve and continues on towards the next humbling moment.

Things go awry. Things that were so hoped for don’t work simply because they don’t. And no matter how much I will them to occur or change or become the thing that I have dreamt about and often times, they just don’t come to pass that way. The intention to succeed and form the dreams I have often fallen through. But life spins on, and with it, provides a new moment to build.

Can just a singular moment be the silver lining that I strive for, the bright spot that I have longed to stand in? But surely, I’m not the first to have glanced into the vast, green depths and seen such a joyous future? There must have been others who have stood where I now stand and viewed into the same emeralds that I look upon now. There must have been some who were taller, more handsome, wealthy, or more a match to your perfection. After all, I’m just the result of my mistake ridden life, weighed down by the failures of days wasted on waiting and chasing everything that left me empty. How could you love me? How could you look at me and see a future?

But it is truly a mesmerizing and befuddling the way the world works. How in one small moment, the failures of the past are wiped from your memory. And the weight that they once carried on your soul now weighs no more than a feather on your shoulder.

That one beautiful night in the strangest of places; so ripe with possibility and hope that my soul was unburdened of its weight and set free. A single night with you at the ends of the world which may lead to nothing more than one beautiful moment; a heart wrenching, beautiful memory. Just a memory to warm my world on the coldest of days. A memory that I would always hold dear and close to me because of how special it is. Viewing it not as a failure to go further, but as a special day that meant a great deal.

But I must admit that in the fleeting moment where our eyes met; I had seen a future. I had seen parties with families and friends and champagne glasses for toasts. I had witnessed trips to a faraway beach where we would effortlessly watch time drift slowly on the tides of crystal clear water. I smelled your soft sweater as we lay entwined on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon just content in the presence of the other. I felt your smooth hand and the way its contour fell so perfectly within mine. I saw decades ahead, to weathered skin and wrinkled faces, to first days of school, a house filled with memories, and never another doubt of what might have been because the what ifs no longer held any weight. I saw visions of interwoven fingers bridging the gap between two rocking chairs on a beautiful porch in the fading light of a late summer evening.

But most of all, I saw years of life lived fully with you. I saw nights filled with a simple “goodnight” as lovers lay next to each other at the end of a simple Tuesday. I saw bitter fights made better by a simple embrace and a sincere apology. Time spent laughing and crying from memories that could trace their roots through our time together. I saw the years pass and the world we walked through together grow bright with our love.

As I saw through the years, I inevitably saw the end that waits for us all. The end that cannot be stalled no matter how much happiness and love is held. And on a day when our weathered souls could feel the end of this path, we would share one backward glance, and speak the simple truth of the life we had lived together, “That is more than I could have ever hoped. Thank you.” I saw final moments, of tears of thankfulness that so many years had been spent together in such supreme happiness and bliss. I felt the burning tears that fell in sadness because life could never be the same and no one could ever possibly hold such sway over my heart like you had. And in those final moments, with our final bitter sweet embrace I whispered, “Thank you, thank you for being by my side. I’m so glad I found you when I did.” With the fading light of your eyes, you would look at me and smile, too weak to speak but your eyes always said so much and this time was no different. The lights would flicker and fade, and I knew, I just knew.

The minutes immediately after. I have lived another lifetime in the minutes since you left and I had never longed for more than just a few more minutes here with you. It was so hard for me to comprehend that just a few minutes ago. You had still been able to whisper “I love you.”

The months that would bleed into years when I was forced to come to grips with the overwhelming loneliness filling my soul. After so many years of lightness, suddenly I was burdened by an unimaginable weight. I could still feel your smile. I could still smell your hair and the apricot shampoo that you loved so. The way your clothes felt as you embraced me, the way you would calm the seas with a simple look into my eyes. How you would hold me after just a few hours apart. The way the house was always filled with your simple and vast love. I remember the smell of fresh cut flowers from your garden; the garden I have no idea how to tend to. But I will do my best because in each one of those colored bulbs I see you and the days spent together and I cannot bear to lose more. But, even though I am in such pain, I am so thankful for the time with you. A life that had no real meaning had become so fulfilled by your side. I will never be able to thank you enough for that.

Years later I would trek down that beautiful lane that we had shared on our honeymoon. The smells and sensations come flooding back and I realize my fingers had been reaching out absentmindedly, trying to feel the your warm skin through your soft summer dresses. I remember how the beautiful patterns and colors would glide so perfectly over your body; you were always so very beautiful. I close my fist and fight back the bitter tears that sting my eyes because the memories are becoming a fleeting thing. I was able to play those memories countless times, but they become worn and frail. The sound of your voice as you sang in the shower has become ever so faint. I just hope that I will see you soon.

I hope that what awaits me once I leave here is the place where you wait for me; no matter how long I take getting there. I will remember always that you were so patient with me, and can see you now just smiling and waiting for me to arrive. I don’t know when I’ll be there, but I have already planned out what I’ll say to you when I get there, “I love you and I’ve missed you so much. I hope I haven’t kept you waiting long.” Then I will hold you, and feel your chest rise and fall with your breath in my arms.

I will kiss you over and over and feel the familiar fire spark alive in my chest. I will wrap you in my arms around you and squeeze tightly, as if this dream would end at any moment. After all, I have to make up for all of the time spent apart. But most of all, I will be thankful that our time together can continue and I can tell you how much I love you, and what our life together meant. Even if I can’t find the words at first, I have so very long to try. And then I will wrap my hand around yours and begin walking towards whatever is out there for us.

All of this I saw in your eyes that night. I know it is foolishness to think I could see a lifetime through a simple glance. That such a lifetime of bliss could be born out of something so simple and inconsequential as a shared dance. My world could not have been so altered by a simple evening, a last hurrah before Monday, before real life would begin again. But seeing you removed all simplicity from that night. The life I saw; I longed to live out those things, longed to go to that end with you. The moment that things stopped, ever so slightly, I knew that things had shifted. The world I had been so accustomed; suddenly a relic. An homage to a bygone era in my life. A time when things were constantly in flux. And never had I been so glad that things had changed. Gone were the nights of wondering, of hoping that maybe this girl was it. No, with you I knew, I knew all along from the moment I first heard your laugh and smelled your sweet perfume. I knew that the flings, the fruitless dinners were no more. Once I had held you even for a second, I knew where my forever did reside.