Somewhere along the way, by the creek, where the water scatters white, on the dirt path inclining down to the water’s edge, with barky roots, and dirt-clumps dangled from tenticles poking out the bank, and as the thick trees shaded one side and the sunlight flooded in the other, open, creek-side, I felt that soft clean air, and my limbs moved well.
Now we live a different way. Our city is a giant ball of steel and glass, and its recycled air always rather dry and rough. Every step clanks the metal-grating walkways and stairs; if you drop a small object–like a penny or a wad of gum–through the grating, the constant vacuum-space underneath immediately sucks it up and carries it to the sorting house, where it is cataloged; then they email you a fine; then you’re obliged to go to login to your citizen account where you follow the prompts to pay and to write a brief but sincere apology.
I met you in between these times, but I suspected you way back when and I remember you even now. I wish I could find a way to explain to us how I feel about you. I call it “love”, but it feels more like an apology. I’m sorry because I cannot find a way to make the latent goodness come alive and bring us the kindly, competent joy that we long for and that I’ve always sensed welling up between you and me.
Many have asked me who this entry is for–a question that’s also bugged me. Through prolonged association with the author and inquiries both direct and indirect, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is like a broken icicle lodged at a slant into crusted snow. It starts off for some girl, but soon feels dishonest with itself and, in frustrated concern for self and other, shards off at the base, falling into the vague knowledge that it is for everyone. It still somewhat longs to bury itself into married life, a longing that views itself as somewhat reasonable and somewhat ridiculous, seeing–as it must–that wholesome romance and family life can be salutary, but in the end we belong to God and all God’s creatures, not to a wife or anything else a human can take hold of and be content with.