The Universe Taps You On The Shoulder…Again

Star Walkers

Johnny sat on his couch, a bottle of Fat Weasel Pale Ale in hand and a goofy grin on his face. For more than a while he had this feeling that someone was trying to send him a message, but he was never clear about what it was or what he was supposed to do about it. He was a man who liked to base his beliefs upon science and the tangible, or so he would tell you.

But sometimes in the quiet of the night he would stare up at the moon and feel like there was something more than science out there. He’d lie on his back and look for shooting stars and just open himself up to the possibility that maybe the universe did send you messages.

It wasn’t always easy for him. He was a skeptic who sometimes straddled his disbelief by silently reviewing the reasons why something or someone wasn’t really meant to be. It wasn’t hard to poke holes in these dreams.

If you would have asked him he would tell you that it was easy for con artists to take your money. The old gypsy woman who sold Love Potion Number 9, the psychic and mediums who told your fortune knew that most people visited them because they wanted help with their love life or finances. All you had to do was give people an opening and they would practically write the story for you.

And yet he had experienced things that made him wonder if perhaps he was wrong. There were moments in which those signs were as clear as a grapevine or that yellow rose of Texas. He took a swig of the Fat Weasel and sung softly, “The stars at night, Are big and bright, Deep in the heart of Texas…” He wasn’t so sure what made him think of Texas, but in an odd, convoluted way it sort of fit. The song did talk about stars and he did like to spend time staring up at them.

He had told June more than once that if she wanted the moon he would find a way to get it for her. He smiled again and muttered something about not knowing who was crazier, him or June.

It felt like forever since he had spoken with June and had you talked to him a week or two earlier he would have told you that he was done. He was tired of it all, worn out, exhausted and ready to say that it was fun while it lasted.

These weren’t just words to him.

He meant what he said and he had intended to do what he had to do to walk. So he drew a mental picture in his head of himself standing in a room and then pictured himself turning out the lights, pulling the shades and walking out the door.

That mental picture wasn’t easy to come up with, but it seemed to be the right thing so it was what he did. And with a simple click he locked the door and took the first steps to an unknown future. At least that was what he had intended to do but life has a funny way of taking your intentions and turning them inside out or upside down. If life were made by Hollywood the scene would have been easy to script.

All that he described would be performed by skilled actors who would make it clear that this wasn’t a part of some formulaic romance. It was real and it was true. And just when the audience bought into the story something would happen that would lead the two of them back into each others arms.

But it wasn’t Hollywood- it was life and sometimes the hero stumbles or the villain gets the girl. And Johnny, our closet skeptic wasn’t willing to open himself up to the possibility that some of this was part of some larger master plan.

Sure, he wanted to believe that there was something more but it really didn’t make sense so he didn’t bother to consider it as even being an option. At least that is how it started and maybe if were a different person that is how it would have stayed. But things happened, weird moments that he couldn’t explain as being anything other than signs that maybe someone or something was trying to speak to him.

At least that is what he was beginning to think. Still it wasn’t a comfortable thought so he fought it down and read the newspaper. And just when he had pushed it out of his head he heard the opening to Helter Skelter.

“When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Do you don’t you want me to love you
I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you
Tell me tell me come on tell me the answer
and you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer”

He smiled and shook his head again. He didn’t know if the universe was tapping him on the shoulder but he couldn’t shake the feeling that somewhere out there June was silently asking him to call. It would be fitting, damn woman used to tease him that she only let him think that he was in control when in reality she was. So he sent out a silent message in response where he told her that he heard her calling and that if she wanted to talk her damn fingers weren’t broken. Dial the damn phone woman and I’ll talk to you.

With a snort and a smirk he finished his drink and wondered if the universe worked that way. He figured that if there was anything to it he would find out, because if the universe really does speak to you, well he is listening or it seemed.

Words in a Journal

It is no secret that I have spent more than a few minutes thinking about you, wondering what you are doing and who you are doing it with. If I listened to the experts you’d never hear a word from me or about me. I’d be nothing more than a ghost in time, a memory of someone you once knew.

And if my past was any guide than that is how it would have gone down. We would have said whatever it is two people say to each other before they leave and then I would have walked out of your life and found whatever was waiting for me. That is how it had always gone before so it was more than a little shocking to me that it didn’t happen now.

But who am I kidding, this thing we share has never been conventional, ordinary or normal. It has always been something….more. A moment in time that never yellows with age or withers with time. I don’t have to close my eyes to see my girl or stare at your picture. I don’t have to smell your perfume to remember because I always sense your presence. You are always with me, the song of my heart.

The song of my heart you touch those places inside that others are refused entry to. Your smile warms my soul and makes me believe that I can do things that I might not otherwise dare to consider. There is a beauty and grace that you carry with you.

So I suppose that some people would be surprised that we are not together. Shocked that so much love and potential would remain unfulfilled. Dumbfounded that circumstances conspired to prevent us from taking that next step into the world that we still dream of building. Heck, I can’t quite figure out how it is that we haven’t figured out how to bridge the gap.

Faith and hope are what carry me through the night. Little glimpses of things we hold dear to ourselves and to each other serve as reminders. Memories of kisses that made my skin tingle and the ache of the hole that exists when you are not by my side. These things are with me for good or for worse.

Goofy quotes like the one  from A Wonderful Life make me smile.

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?

They make me smile because you make me want to try to give you the moon. They make me smile because I try to be cool and suave around you and end up babbling like a fool. Even now years later you sometimes make me stutter and stumble.

Little moments in time surround me. Memories of what was, faith and hope in what could be, they are there too. For now that is all there is and there are no guarantees that it will change. There is no Love Potion number 9 available for sale and even if there were I wouldn’t purchase it. That is not how I want it to be.

For now I hope that you walk in the arms of the angel and carry my blessing and promise. If all goes as we wish then one day this will be nothing more than a small chapter in the story we continue to write. Stay safe, be strong and I will see you in the echoes of our future.

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  1. V-Grrrl February 8, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I like these two explorations of the same theme. Johnny, who doesn’t quite believe, and the second character who does.

    My favorite line is “…this thing we share has never been conventional, ordinary, or normal. It has always been something…more.”

    I think we’re limited by the labels we put on relationships. Friend, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, ex, husband, wife. The labels try to simplify what is often a complicated relationship. Sometimes people are simply bound together in ways that defy easy classification. When we try to make the relationship fit a label or convention, we compromise both it and ourselves.

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Hey V,

      I can’t argue with that, not that I want to. Labels are an effort to bring understanding and simplify some things.

      A good friend and I had a long talk about how we viewed the world as kids and how we see it now.

      There is very little black and white.

  2. February 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Anyone else and I would have thought I’ll have to come back to this because it’s too long and I don’t have time right now, but your writing is constantly worth the time. once again, you did not disappoint.

  3. Renee February 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

    And so life moves on. Around or through the empty spaces…
    Not quite knowing the exact depth of the loss.

    I smiled. I teared up a little. And pondered…

  4. Jack February 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

    They filmed much of that movie in my old neighborhood. The studios and sets are long since gone, but the memories remain.

  5. Stan Faryna February 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

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