(I'm Almost There. from On The Road to Milton, 2010)
I swear I've been looking at that blinking light off in the distance for the past year. It sinks and rises over and over, it sometimes on foggy nights it forms pinkish clouds. During my time at the cottage I'd just get lost in my thoughts, nothing interesting ever came up, just recycled thoughts, over and over on an endless loop. I see failure, past loves, regrets, and things I want to forget flash before me. Somewhere in all that foggy mess there are some really great moments, some beautiful places visited, some really nice strangers, and if I look even deeper there's oddly familiar, hope.
The other day Charlie and I ran down to the beach, high out of our minds, and dove into the ocean. We both needed to go to the bathroom, and in there, laughing, red-eyed and stupid, I thought to myself this is really great. It was. I looked up to the sky and then back down to the wavy surface of my life, it wasn't so bad I thought. On days like this you can't help but feel good, to be overwhelmed with good thoughts and feelings, to the point where it is ridiculous, in all of its wonder, it's ridiculous. And even deeper down you realize from all those bad days, and even the ordinary days in comparison to these happy moments of pissing and shitting in the ocean with your best bud, and being literally intoxicated in the moment are good times, great times, and you should cherish them. I can hear a voice somewhere in my head telling me that, hey sonny, you should be really enjoying this while it last (while it last) as it echoes off and returning to where it came from. Of course they never last long, and that's kinda of the point, good times aren't just times, they're time, a moment, each different from the last, each requiring different things from you to be good, to be good times. I remember living on my carpet floor for what felt like an infinity, having a staring contest with Florida. I swear I could look into her eyes forever, there was something there, in them, and if I looked hard enough I'd find it. Those days have long past, and did I ever find anything? I'm not quite sure, maybe something that could not be, that was a vague idea, a world not too far from this but there was a boundary line I could not cross (but what told me to stop I pondered). Perhaps it was something with sharp edges, it stings to touch, it aches one's heart, it turns the world upside down (the upside down in the opposite direction you want it), and it is the closest feeling to be shot in the heart with a shot gun or a large sword. In other words, it was the truth I saw in Florida's eyes.
When I first met Florida, she was barely legal, not to sound like a title of a porn, but that she was young, and hell, I wasn't much older either, I just had a few good years out of the house, and had those early adult years under the belt before I first met the girl. Anyhoot, when I first met her, she was wearing an american flag t-shirt, not something that was necessarily patriotic but rather more of a fashion statement, and I was wearing more patriotic looking american flag shirt, and this being Canada, I had to comment, and I knew she had to as well.
-ah (pointing to shirt, and reflecting finger to her shirt)
-Ha, I know, terrible.
-What! Your shirt is ridiculous! In a good way.
-should I say thanks?
-Well, I'm not really sure what you should be saying that, I wouldn't know what to say back to that either.
-I mean, I like your shirt.
-Thanks, I like your shirt too (I think).
-Ha, thanks, I got it here, it reminds me of home.
-Are you American?
-No, not really, kinda, its a long story.
At my home I showed her my card collection, she actually seemed impressed, I then showed her my daily workout, and I was surprised she looked genuinely entertained. As I was finishing my third set of push-ups I thought to myself, is she finding all this entertaining at how strange it all is, I'm sure she's thinking in her head, this would make a great story, I mean, that's what I'd be doing right now in her shoes and that a mental photograph to show to your friends later. I showed her my bed, we sat there for a while, we talked about old significant others, and then I looked into her eyes, and she looked into mine, and this old familiar feeling ignited, catching everything inside of me to fire, and by the time I realized I was on fire we were kissing.
I never did tell her the long story of how I am not American, but kinda am, nor did I think she really care, all I know is that whatever I said, it worked.
It worked, yes, with my belly filled with the pie of life, I hover between a world of happiness and fulfillment, like a nice, full, and long summer day coming to an end with a beautiful sunset. I stand at my post, kicking one leg up and resting my sole on the post as I slowly chew the straw in my mouth. Todayhasbeenagoodday repeats endlessly in my mind as I think of the future. I wonder, what is the future. I tried to give it a form, I even tried to give it a face, and although I have never seen the future, nor have I met it, something starts to form in the cavity of my mind. Like sand being blown away from a hidden object: a figure starts to emerge.
(A few moments pass and I realize something, something that is important and immediate as if I found a lie to the story of my life)
But fuck all of that. Florida, with eyes I don't exactly know yet, with a mouth that says words I can't hear yet, and with hands and fingers that feel like I don't know yet. In the air, in the sand, and in the ocean, emerging, submerging, being blown away, falling apart, and the phantom you are, I can't quite see you but I'm pretty sure I can smell you. Joking I tell you, One Man's Dream, Another Man's Lunch. My head disappears from view, and in the space without echo I can hear a vibration say, you-son-of-a-bitch.