A few months ago I went up to visit a person I care very deeply about. She lives in a city with evergreen trees and a progression that seeps from the needles so that it becomes contagious when you live there. I lived there. And then I didn’t for a long time. I took that contagious progress with me but learned so much once I left that city with trees that never faded. Once I went to cities with trees that fade and people who think differently my opinions became steady.
We went to a barbeque , curving on the tree lined roads and going over two or three bridges. Once there, they were faces I recognized from my past walking from class to class. I sat in the middle of a picnic table in the backyard and watched as people spoke or didn’t speak. I watched as the woman I cared deeply about showed affection for a man who is scared to care deeply about her. They played yard games and we all drank beer. I spoke to those who showed interest and listened to conversations about group homes and weed and farming. Time passed. We ate meat that men had smoked and orzo salad and mushroom ceviche. Two dogs played as people cooed. We drank more beer. I felt a kind of success as I listened to the after party crowd talk about transporting European cars to the United States, and taking a trip to Greece, and how non art students don’t understand the lives of those who are art students. I felt no need to contribute to these conversations as my friend talked to her man she showed affection to in another room about things too personal to talk about around these art students and non art students. When she returned from her deep conversations we left. We curved back down the tree lined roads and ended up eating nachos and drinking Coronas with limes as we dissected the night and then digested the parts we enjoyed and discarded the bits that were to hard to digest. It was easy to do this when we were together.
The weekend passed and the morning came when she had to mold minds and I had to catch a bus with wings home. My eyes were drowsy, rebelling at the prospect of being awake so early. She came up the stairs alert. I knew what those foot steps muffled by her socks meant. She came to the bed. I sat up and hugged her torso. I said things that made no sense, confident she understood what I meant. We held each other, my head on her stomach, my arms unwavering. She smelled my hair that smelled of sweat and body. She smelled of shower. We let go. She walked down the stairs and out the front door. I went back to sleep in her bed for a few hours and then walked down the stairs and out the front door.