You came to my window that day. That yellow and grey day in autumn. You came and tapped on the glass. You with your boy’s grin and your wild eyes. And I was wrapped up in some or another project of mine, and I was annoyed to be interrupted. And I shooed you away. And you climbed inside. And sat on the windswept windowsill and laughed at me. And how could I help but laugh as well. And then you stopped and there was a sorrow hung over your face like a veil. And so we leaped from that afternoon window in the mellow brown of September and with coats and scarves we walked through the hours.
And we spoke of … oh who can recall. All of those words, spilled out like careless clouds leaking thoughts, soaking the mountains, the meadows turning to gold, the trees, dripping with syllables and phrases and snips of laughter and snags of joy. There, then, walking in a rain of careless words, each one a gossamer string tethering our hearts together, you shone like an ancient lamp in the melancholy world. So true. And also troubled. For how can truth walk untroubled through this false place and dim. Simon. It’s hard not to wish for those days back. Those days of extravagant affection. When we did not have to guard our words, our looks, our hearts. Me, at any rate. When we were wide and open and free and clean. And just a little mad. For was it you or I that day who suggested hitchhiking to Malafee? Walking there in that narrow strip of dirt and rocks between the woods and the highway, not really believing we were doing what we were doing, and yet not really believing either that we could be doing anything else. And then that beat old dodge dart and that man that smelled of apple cider and dirty sheets. And the way we watched the world blur by out those triangle shaped windows. Listening to his plaster voice and making up wild stories to answer his barrage of questions. Sneaking eloquent looks at one another after each answer. And our grace of thought, acrobatic and aerial. And our youthed, heedless hubris. That we were alive. And wonderful. And breathtaking, and that the world was ours to ride. And I caught your hand and the circle was closed, bound look and hand to you. And our souls were in a perpetual state of giddy delight. Ravished as we were by each shining moment. By each falling leaf; that fell – as it ought – for only us. The festival of living. Simon. And now. Well. Now we are wiser. And older. And more sedate. And the leaves fall of their own accord and not ours. And the sky turns to gloom or gladness with the fronts of warm and cold, blue and red on the invisible weatherman’s map, and not to humor our whims. And you no longer climb through windows, and I won’t be hitching rides to meaningless destinations any time soon. And we are grown now. Men and women. We have tamed our souls. And taught them decorum and how to fit into the too-tight clothing that is approved by the overlooking world.
And tonight. Under this sky of lambent blue and heathered clouds. Tonight I can’t seem to quiet the restless windy Lilly inside who keeps pelting me with paper airplanes. Made of old letters. And I open each one and on it is a single word: Why?