This Means Something


Are you always this intense? He smiled when he asked. We were sitting an arms length apart on two wicker chairs facing each other. Our knees weren’t touching because I had my legs crossed. I’d just asked him my own questions, not even that many. But I asked for details. I love details. I asked him how much it hurt. I reached out and touched his face. This is how I know there was an arms distance between us. My fingertips barely grazed his cheek. It’s something people do to protect themselves: keep each other at an arms length. It’s the way some live, guarding their hearts with the promise of some space between them and all the hurt that is inevitably coming.

A lot, he said, it hurt a lot.

Later we were walking up past my place. I saw how clear the stars were. I told him to look up. I had the moment right. A star shot across the sky and we both saw it. I said this means something. I slept the whole night through, almost nine hours straight. I dreamt simple. I dreamt I lived in a big house by a lake.

This morning I was making coffee and I realized I was supposed to wish for something. Right? You’re supposed to make a wish when you see a shooting star. So I made one just now. I burnt the paper I used because I’m practicing detachment from a particular outcome. I can recognize the universe has more wisdom than I do. I want to believe I’ll only get back what I truly need. 

I live unguarded. I don’t need another piece of paper with a few words on it floating around my life, reminding me of what I don’t have.

I believe I can be free from this.

Hawaii is extra beautiful today. This is what I do have. If it’s possible to ever really have anything. For the last week the skies have been so clear, the sunsets wild. There is a volcano threatening to destroy and I still can’t look away from the horizon. The line is so straight and sharp as it separates us, cuts the world in half. And it’s not even a line.

How do you quantify “a lot?” I asked. He smiled again. I shook my head, said no, I’m not normally this intense. I’m usually much worse.

My friend recently told me about a concept he contemplates. How time is layered on top of itself. How everything in the universe is expressing itself all at once. He’d just read the ending of my book, we’d been on the phone for two hours. We were trying to remember the last time we’d seen each other. When we had tea that time. When was that? I said it was exactly two years ago, almost to the day. He said we’re here on the phone discussing your book, but we’re also there, discussing your book before it was a book.

I’ve been thinking about this. Wondering if this is why our minds and memories work as they do. We’re tapping back and forth all the time, in and out of the past and present and future. One moment I’m here, staring at the stars and the next moment I’m sipping Chamomile Serenity in a fancy shop in SoHo. My whole book is in one document now. Maybe in ten years I’ll wake up in a big house beside a lake and everything will make sense.

My burnt wishes will still be burning. I’ll already be free.

Jennifer ChardonComment