Never forget. We were alone. Arm-in-arm. Coiled and twisting together on a cushioned bench swing. Inseparable before we separated. Sipping dark purple wine, that spinning, sloshing, liquid prelude to sex. The sun going down on us. A heart-shaped hole outlined with cottony clouds, spray-painted by a Divine graffitist for that very moment, the center as deep blue as our own.
The evening descended—oh, sweet child, how it came down—like a heavy curtain falling upon our love story, followed by the deafening, standing applause of a million memories. Jesus in the heaven and F. Scott Fitzgerald on earth! So certain we were of today but more uncertain of tomorrow, frightened to paralysis by the unknown. Knowing only what we know: the unchangeableness of certain things and that the world is full of bastards.
Then the heat lightening came—your favorite—igniting the sky like the electrical synapses of our brains, both of us having so much to say, incapable of saying anything. Because our time was running out. We let the silence do the talking. We swallowed hard, trying to be brave, smiling, holding each other anaconda tight, like it was the end of the damn world—and it really was—the end of our world. Heaven closing down.
In those final minutes, we were reduced to pumpkin faces, two shadowy figures on a stone porch, orange in the dark, glowing by the hot blaze of a cedar fire that was clean and crackling and sweet as holy incense, flames flickering and dancing and pulsing to the music. You asked me to choose a song, something for the night, that night, our last night together. I chose, Once Upon a Time in the West, Patricia Janeckova’s angelic 2012 version. If ever a melody captures the strength and pain of a human heart in the process of shattering, that’s it.
The midnight hour was fast approaching. The magic spell would soon disappear. After a prolonged kiss, hot-lipped, wet, smooth as honey, gliding, sizzling from head to toe, the kind that originates from deep inside the soul, eternal, unforgettable, altering history, changing lives, irreversible in effect, grinding into the perfect fit that is you and me—us—coming, cumming, culminating in a piercing explosion with seeds of love more numerous than the stars, pop, pop, popping until every sparkling light had dimmed and darkened, falling, emptying like a river into the innermost place, draining dry in long, viscous strings of white. Earth-shattering. Circuit breakers tripping. The way your crystal eyes connected with mine, pleading, saying yes, yes, and please, over and over, fingernails clawing the back of one who was turning away. That was your defiant answer. No! you said. Then came the tears, salty streams of happy and sad, grainy, stinging, rolling down your goddess cheeks, glistening in the moonlight, like the glittery makeup of fairies. I can still taste you in my mind.
Together, we possess a knowledge that most will never know, something the gods can never take away, even if they slam and bang. Darling girl, precious life! You broke me to pieces and put me back together again. Why did you do that? Do you remember? How thankful we were for everything? How that one final time you saved me from an overwhelming, crushing wave of emotion by simply tracing the Big Dipper with your feminine finger, changing the subject without changing it. You’ve always been a humble hero with last minute timing: when all hope is lost you somehow restore it.
After that, we said goodbye to the tune of, Somewhere Out There, by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, and danced around the brick circle, hand-in-hand, until the fire went out. But it never really went out, did it? It can’t. It hasn’t. It won’t.