“Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
And strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
Well run till we drop, baby well never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
`cause baby I’m just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, girl I want to know if love is real”
Born To Run– Bruce Springsteen
“Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream” she said
“The one that makes me laugh” she said
And threw her arms around my neck
“Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you”
Just Like Heaven– The Cure
If you close your eyes and listen carefully you can hear the soft clink-clank of metal against metal. You’re so focused upon your task it is hard to say how long the rhythmic banging has been going on. You’re name is Johnny and you’re lifting weights in your garage. It is well after midnight and you can’t sleep.
You don’t feel much like talking to anyone and even if you did you’re friends are all asleep. It is a work night so you don’t really want to have a drink.Or maybe that is because you suspect that it won’t just be one drink and you’d rather not finish that six pack. Besides you don’t really want to drink alone.
So you decide that you are going to take your nervous energy and make use of it. You strap on your iPod and head outside to exercise because you know that you always feel better afterwards. And besides it will help clear your head.
Alone in the garage you start your workout and try not to focus on June. Been forever since she was a part of your life. But some days you can’t help but wonder what could have been. Sometimes timing is a bitch and that has you shaking your head. It seems more than a little unfair that circumstances could be the reason that a relationship doesn’t work.
As you focus on your form you can’t help but smile wistfully as you think about how unexpected it was to find June. Neither one of you could have ever predicted it. You grew up in different places and in different worlds. She used to tell you that she would never forgive you for not finding her earlier. You’d laugh and tell her that you could say the same thing.
Time would pass and you’d confess that you had never been more in love with anyone or more scared. This was the kind of thing that only happened in books and movies and that made you drag your feet. She’d tell you the same thing. And in no time you would forge a bond that was deeper and more powerful than any either one of you had known or experienced.
But life is not a book or a movie and things would happen. The world outside the one you shared would come to exert its influence upon you. The timing was off and no matter what you did you couldn’t fight it. You tried. You did what you could and when it wasn’t good enough you beat yourself up and wondered how it fell apart.
So sometimes late at night you’d wander outside and stare at the moon. Looking up at that giant white orb you’d sometimes smile and wonder if June was doing it too. Other times you’d stare at it and feel like howling in frustration and you’d wonder again if she felt like that too.
There would be good days and bad days. Moments when you were determined to walk away. You’d tell yourself that it didn’t matter why it ended or who was at fault or what. All that mattered was moving on with your life. But in the silent recesses of your heart you’d never completely let go.
The bond that you had forged was too strong and too deep. And once you acknowledged this truth of your heart you began to feel better. Once you accepted that you would always love June you were able to start living again. It wasn’t exactly what you wanted, but it was a start.
Because the truth was that your heart told you that June was still out there and that the end to this story had yet to be written. The promises you made were still valid. The love you shared still lived. And maybe, just maybe there might be chance to pick things up somewhere down the road.
And then you took off your watch and stuffed it in a drawer because the last thing you wanted to be reminded of was timing.
zoe March 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm
I often think of my deceased partner in this fashion…well much of it…even the where did it go wrong piece…kind of how could this happen this way… you capture the longing very accurately. It’s a well written piece that I suspect hits a pretty common chord (in some way) for most every one.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 6:04 pm
Yeah, I think you are right. Most of us can look at people and places like this and wonder how it did or did not manage to happen.
Larks March 16, 2014 at 10:02 am
This was really touching. I especially liked that last line. Dumb jerk watch.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Dumb jerk watches is right.
TriGirl March 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm
That tugged at my heart strings. I hope June comes back.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm
It would be nice.
Ice Scream Mama March 15, 2014 at 5:10 am
this read like a song. really nice.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm
Thank you, I really appreciate that. That is kind of cool.
Christi March 15, 2014 at 5:01 am
Oh, love is such a painful bitch that never, ever goes away. You can try to shove her in a drawer, but she’ll still be in there years later, lurking. Real love persists.
Really great piece, Jack. I liked the songs at the beginning, too.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm
Real love persists- such a good way of putting it and so very true.
Natalie DeYoung March 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm
I am in love with that image, first of all.
Second, I like how this ends with hope. I’m an optimist (no matter how cynical I may get), and a romantic, so of course I believe that.
Also, I think the saddest moments of my life have been when I’ve realized that “life is not a book or a movie.” Things don’t wrap up nicely. The hero doesn’t always win. Sometimes your dreams don’t come true. I am eternally rediscovering these truths, and they are painful.
Jack March 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm
I have had a field day writing stories in which the hero fails but when push comes to shove I much prefer when they win.