“And I just hope you know
That if you say / goodbye today / I’d ask you to be true
‘Coz the hardest part of this is leaving you.
‘Coz the hardest part of this is leaving you…”
The song was stuck in her head. Today was the third day. A week of happenings of different intensities had weighed her down in a way. Buoyed her up and plunked her down, washed away everything then cluttered her again with pieces of shell and tiny, dead sea creatures. She wanted to cry but she was too happy, too content. She needed to sleep, but she was too alive. The clouds outside were grey. Earlier the sky had been blue, hot sun drumming down on her face with a cool breeze attempting to brush it away, as if they were stray hairs. She had been at a beach with a friend, and the salty air had worked its usual strange magic. There was something ancient and nostalgic about a new beach. The tactile difference of cool, soft sand and hard, hot rocks played with memories under her feet, and her mind fought for different ways to breathe. Walking along she’d seen a man reading a book, pants off with everything showing for the world to see. It didn’t faze her, surprisingly.
She thought back to the night before. They were on a roof and the breeze was cooling, just a little harder than soothing, so it hit her heart just the right way. A new moon sat at eye level, orange in its reflection of the sun, a single line painting the night. A plane had flown over it just then, close and big enough to seem to be on the same plane as the fire moon. Or cheese moon?
She went back. They were sitting down in a Max Brenner near the wharf, overdosing on chocolate.
Back. Sitting on the sand eating chips and kebabs, unwillingly sharing with the seagulls who no longer cared if the humans were eating the food they were stealing. A whale waved in the distance. No, two whales. Arching back all their mass, careless and weightless, trusting the ocean to catch them. They would always be caught by the ocean. Could we be caught by the air? I suppose the constant pressure was what kept our bodies together. The air would do no extra.
Night falls and she collects her thoughts. She will be meeting with some girls soon. Food. Movies. Socialising. It would be good for her. She just hoped she had the energy. It had been pulled out of her, as if by osmosis, at the bay. Sitting on the rocks, reading about labyrinths and feeling the pull of the tides while that magic she’d mentioned earlier wound itself around her, hugged her, held her. She breathed it in and it infected each cell, transfected her genes, methylated parts of her DNA.
The sun was no longer visible. A golden orb appeared to be in the air, but there was no light. She was surrounded by blue. She was surrounded by fog. Mist. Just enough to see that there was nothing except her thoughts in their physical manifestation. Just enough to yearn to let out, let go. A scent wafted into her line of sight and she followed it as if following a thought. Constant distractions but continuously running. Rushing yet calm. Ah. Ah. She could barely see anything now. She could barely see her thoughts, but she kept following. Waiting, perhaps, ‘til the point where she would be writing blind. Perhaps kinaesthesia would help her through. The mere memory of the actions required to create the physical manifestations of… what?
The scent became a cat. A cat meowed and purred like it wanted her to follow it. Blind eyed, she did. She ran for it, words left unfinished, thoughts frayed and scattering in different directions, messy, garbled, illegible. And she saw herself. Suddenly. She spied herself sitting under a lamplight, writing something on her phone. She remembered this. She’d been writing some poem or other. She walked towards her writing-self. A fat grey cat sat in front of her, watchful. She took a step towards them and both cats started to yowl. The writing-her looked up and, seeming to see nothing, looked at the fat grey and petted her. “What are you meowing at huh kitty?” They grey cat looked at her and blinked slowly. “Aw kisses to you too kitty,” she said with a smile. “I think I have to go… Thank you for looking out for me cat!” and with that the other her stood up and started to walk away. She wanted to go up to her, talk to her… But she knew what happened next. Talking to her future self was certainly not on the menu for that night.
She remembered how she had felt back then. The spring scent had come in early and the breeze – warm – had infected her at that time, too, in a secluded corner behind a train station that most did not notice as they rushed busily past. The moon had been full and orange, and she had talked to strangers in lieu of socialising with the group she was usually spending time with. She realised the air and the moon and the magic must always be there, no matter the time of day. They simply converged in certain places less visited by humanity and more often frequented by déjà vu. A rooftop with a neon blue sign on a yellow background. Holey rocks half-filled with microscopic marine life. Or perhaps dried out completely.
She knew that the light would flash strangely from the horizon now, and the perpetual sunset from the city skyline would attempt to resemble lightning. If only it could bare the same intensity as that electricity. If only it could cause the same tremors as heavy thunder, the same caress as a downpour. Alas, the only flashes came from a neighbour’s TV screen flashing on their wall, visible through a window. The only rumble was a weak heartbeat from the heavy bass of a faraway party. A mellow breeze teased her hair but backed away as soon as she tried to lean in for a kiss. Frustration was there, but so was contentment, and they sat hand in hand in a confusing juxtaposition while she thought back, wishing she could be lying on that beach, hair free, soaking into the sea, slowly dissolving.
“Ready to roll?”