Gritty Details

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday's Storyteller: "Even a hundred miles apart, their hearts beat to the same rhythm."

by Belinda Roddie

Even a hundred miles apart, their hearts beat to the same rhythm. Our hearts. Even a hundred miles apart, their bodies move to the same music. Our bodies. The choreography guides us to beaches and on long hikes among the redwoods. Counting banana slugs. Counting each star that peeks out from beneath its blue security blanket, making sure there are no monsters hidden under its cosmic bed.

Even a hundred miles apart, the geography is the same. We see the same kinds of trees outside our bedroom windows. The same moon glows above our heads. The same celestial bodies watch over this little planet that's plagued with ambitious creatures with big dreams to reach new galaxies - or perfect the small galaxies they've created around them, in small towns, in big cities, in villages and skyscrapers. In basements and attics. Beneath sheets. On a computer screen.

I know I'll see you again soon, my love, even though your little boat is rudderless and can't sail for now. Even though the waters rises each year and threaten to wash our little homes away, and we have to swim over to reach each other. You have aspirations to be an artist, and where I am, it's stifled and unoriginal and too mechanical. Too rational. You need to explore nature that isn't choked by smog and industrial fumes. I stay in my office bubble and try to make enough dollars to travel to you.

Truth be told, a hundred miles isn't too far these days. I could take a plane to you. I could catch a train. I could pack one suitcase and hitchhike my way down the two-lane freeway. Ride with a scruffy, middle-aged trucker with bad body odor and a lot of stories to tell. He'll entertain me with tales of strange depots he's stopped at, and what weird snacks he's found in vending machines. He'll ask me where I'm off to. Home, I'll say. A real home.

It's been harder to breathe lately. The air seems thinner these days. My lungs don't work the way they used to, so sometimes, my heart races toward a finish line that I can't see. I don't want it to be too soon. I tuck away my papers and my folders and curl up in the corner where everything is warm. Where I have a good view of the sky from the window. Where I can still listen to the world's symphony on strings and pipes, on birds' beaks and lone coyotes' howls. On bad car motors and trickling water. On laughter. On breathing.

And I try to make my heart slow down. So it returns to the same rhythm as yours. The same rhythm that echoes from one hundred miles away. You are painting your own personal canvas. It's full of different colors. Royal ones, muted ones, vibrant ones. You've pulled yourself from the tempting black and white.

And you dance. And I want to dance with you. To the same choreography. To the same music.

Which I can barely hear anymore.

This week's prompt was provided by Arden Roddie.

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