One more insertion for Fragments of Fiction
Johnny looked out the window and stared at a tree swaying in the wind. Couldn’t tell you what kind of tree it was, just that it was tall, covered with green leaves and covered in bark. He thought about June and stifled a giggle. She would have been irked with his description and muttered something about men not being worth a damn for the important things.
And then he laughed remembering how June had been frustrated with his recitation of information about a dear friend’s baby. He didn’t know how big the child was, not weight nor height. He couldn’t even tell her the name, just that he was certain that it was a girl. It made her a bit crazy that he could spend hours reciting trivia about sports, movies, politics and more but important things like information about the baby seemed to be beyond him.
Or may be it was that she knew that in so many areas his memory was like the proverbial steel trap. Why was it that those details never escaped him yet he couldn’t answer the other things. It was part of why when she sent him to the store it was always with a list in hand. Without the list he’d come back from Costco $200 dollars poorer and with a host of things that they might want but weren’t alwaysÂ necessities.
He laughed again thinking about how sometimes he did it intentionally just to aggravate her. She knew it too but was smart enough not to mention it to him. The last thing that she wanted to do was encourage that kind of behavior. She knew full well that if he thought it would get a rise out of her he would do it in a heartbeat.
And then he sighed deeply, ah….the proverbial heartbeat. His had stopped beating long ago or so it seemed to him. Whenever it was that she had cut things off had made it freeze inside his chest and since then there had been nothing. Sure, it was an exaggeration but sometimes he liked to do so and goddamnit he was going to do what he was going to do.
Still lost in thought he stared at the damn tree and thought about how it had stood there for decades. Tall and straight it withstood the elements and earthquakes, or what the insurance companies called an act of god. It went on living regardless of these things, sustained by whatever power sustained trees.
There was perfection in that tree- a silent and steady truth that he appreciated. It reminded him of a time not so long ago when he felt like he had experienced perfection. A dreamer and at times a romantic he was also a collector of memories and as such he paid attention to those moments when it felt like the world stood still.
That tree made him think of one such moment. Staring up at the gentle swaying he remembered holding June in his arms and kissing her soft lips. Had she asked him to describe it she wouldn’t have complained about a lack of details because if anything he remembered too many.
He tended to think of the moment as being splashed with broad streaks of color and a stillness that was striking. Certainly the earth had not stopped, traffic hadn’t ceased and the music that had undoubtedly been playing in the background had not been shut off.
But the reality for him was different. It was a perfect moment in which he knew nothing but an overwhelming sense of love. He remembered opening his eyes mid-kiss so that he could stare at her. She must have felt him looking at her because she opened hers and giggled.
The image flashed and he saw the two of them lying next to each other. Fully clothed and wide awake they held hands in silence. The world was still silent and all he knew was the desire to never leave her side.
That had been quite some time ago during a time and place that was different from the one in which he lived now. The tree that he had been staring at had been there then just as it stood before him now. Just as tall and just as straight it maintained its place.
He wondered if trees had any sort of consciousness and if so, did they dream of that one perfect moment. He wasn’t certain and in truth didn’t care. He was a collector of memories and he was more than pleased to have that one in his care.
Later on that night he’d find himself tossing and turning in bed and would wander outside to be with the tree again. Bathed in moonlight he’d lean against the trunk and hope that one day he would take June to visit the tree and to tell her story of this moment.
More importantly he hoped that they would have the chance to create some more of those perfect moments. Time would tell.