Terrified, nervous, anxious, eager. The first three exist on a carousel. The last with hands clasped anticipating their departure. I don’t get excited beforehand. The future always seems in doubt. Until it happens, the reality of the event–a trip, a kiss, a climb–feels nebulous. When it reaches me its certainty remains tenuous. The sidewalk always ends, even when the Earth is round.
The last time I felt like this was during the weeks before I left for college. Are you excited? Are you excited? How exciting! I didn’t feel it. Not until I was on the road and the past slipped away for good. That coarse gittyness ground its way through me, leaving smiles and laughter along the interstates on the way to St. Louis. But my nights now are fitful, my mornings full of strain just to climb out of bed. I don’t want to be here. I’m not excited for the adventure. I’m eager to be in some other present where the future isn’t all that matters. When do you leave? When does it start? How long will you be there? Two weeks to go; three weeks there; a lifetime after. Right now there is me in a chair with a book on my mind–Silence of the Lambs, damn it’s good–and desires that don’t reach far beyond, “I’d like to play some Dark Souls and kiss a girl I like.”
My entire life could be reduced to that. The excitement of the breath just before you press up against her. Softness, sweat, a sigh that could empty a colosseum. Imagine yourself at your grandest and it’s no different. Jumping from an airplane, giving a big speech, making the first brush stroke. A mad kiss consumes you. All of life is that. The breath before you jump in the water. I want to be swallowed whole. I won’t believe it until you take me down.
© 2013 Christopher Dart