I want to write my name in the history books of you. Years led to this breakdown in communication. There was a silence, loud with everything that wasn’t being said. And then – on this date, at this time, the first shot was fired. I would embark on a war of attrition. Destroy everything until I reach my destination. Single-minded and hellbent, I would lay waste to your landscape.
Fuck the maps, damn the torpedoes, just let my instinct to take over. I would find you out, hunt you down, thin your ranks until you’re running to reinforce those lines.
Surrender, a whisper on the wind. Surrender.
And then, finally, on this date, at this time, the guns would fall silent. Covered in dirt and grease and smoke of warfare, we could discuss the terms. I would have to remind you, of course, that I play for keeps. Unconditional surrender is required of you. This would be total war, after all.
Under the terms, I could redraw the lines and plains of your body, keep the best territory for myself.
To the victor belong the spoils.
After a while, I could draw down my forces, let the army disband. Pull down the fortifications and let you fully in. Rebuild, put down permanence in some way. What would you look like, all marked up with me – my marks, my name, invisible but indelible prints?
I’m not sure if I fight fair, or if I would be considered to fight dirty – but like they say, all’s fair in love and war.
The lines and borders of me feel ephemeral.
Like any moment, they will shimmer and I will be gone, disappeared to the winds.
Some days, I feel as though I am slipping away.
Feeling myself less and less here as the days go by.
I think it might be more than just simple wanderlust that has me wishing I could watch the horizon disappear in my rear-view.
I long to spend days and nights in a foreign city where no one knows me. Perhaps I will have a guide-book or a map, or maybe I’ll just trust my feet to take me where they will. I want to be alone to make my mark wherever I desire. Pictures of myself in front of the Coliseum, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the pyramids at Giza. Maybe I would be inspired to write books of tales concerning my travels, poetry of flowers and fruit stands, photographs where I catch the rays of sunlight on the Mediterranean as the day fades.
I would like to see you at my fingertips. Wake to you dappled in sunlight off the coast of Africa. Fall asleep to poetry read in Spanish somewhere in the Caribbean. I would like to bounce civilizations off of you, thinky ever-logical lover. Shall we expatriate? I think we should. Perhaps Mexico? Or the Dominican? Japan? India?
Today, I’ve been thinking about throwing myself out of an airplane. I want to stand in the open doorway of that little prop plane, look two miles below me to the earth just waiting, and then . . . and then, I want to look around at the clouds surrounding us, I want to notice the blue of the sky, and then … and then, I’ll smile, throw my arms out wide and jump. Back arched, arms held up as though I’m signalling a ‘field goal’ (appropriate – it’s goooooood), knees bent, toes pointed. And I’ll fall towards the ground at terminal velocity. I’ll fall willingly, knowingly, aware that the human body can’t survive a fall above 30 feet. Eyes on my altimeter, when the moment is right I’ll reach up and pull the red cord. My ‘chute will release and then I’ll float. Hands will reach up to take the toggles (take control of this moment, as it were) and I’ll be free to look about me (sometimes I close my eyes for a long moment), at the fields and streams, roads and ditches, cars and cows. I’ll steer myself into the proper position to hit the landing zone, pull hard on the toggles once more and hit the ground running. Out from beneath my ‘chute, releasing myself from harness and lines, I’ll look up and wish I were falling free again.
I’m always briefly – very briefly – nervous right before I make the decision to jump. Not because I worry about a malfunction of the main chute, or because I hope the alternate ‘chute is in order, but because I worry that I won’t love it. Surely, sleep is a metaphor for a relationship, but this is a metaphor for life. How often do you stand at the door of that metaphorical plane and wait for the signal to tell you that you’re good to go? What decision has jumping represented for you? And the falling? Falling in love, falling into a career, falling into a life that you were previously unaware of. And when you land, what then? Do you gather your chute, drape it over your arm, grasp it in hand and make your way back to the hanger where someone else will relieve you of that burden and repack it for you? Watch them – they make precise folds and tucks and wind things just so. All so that you can go back up, no matter how high that might be, and find the courage to jump again. To leave behind that bench and buckles that restrain you and fall into something new. Each free fall is different. Each is scary. Each is immeasurably rewarding.
Or after you land, do you do as I do and look up? Look up into that sky, and wonder when the next chance will be that you’ll get to jump, get to fall, get to make that decision to take that leap. After that moment spent longing, I’ll do the same thing – gather my chute, drape it over my arm, grasp it in hand and make my way back to the hanger. Once there, someone will relieve me of that burden – friends, that support you on this or that endeavor. Friends that stand behind you. Friends that make sure your ‘chute is packed right for the next go ’round. Sometimes they’ll go up with you and you can jump at the same time, enjoy the ride together – grasp fingers, grin like apes, scream, take pictures – laugh about it all at the bottom because you weren’t alone.
Life, like skydiving, is about the risks we choose to take. Preparation is key. Why not prepare while you’re on the ground so that you can appreciate the ride up and then love the shit out of the fall back down?