Adam surfs on dust motes. While riding the wind, he is keen to acknowledge cracks in the sidewalk and the broad leafed weeds that bound from the soot. A life this small, encompassed by imminent death, is the perfect place for Adam to surf in lapsed wonder. The grain of old boards or bark of elm are rivers of history and the knots are tide pools of past war, further defeat. Adam glides his fingertips gently brushing natural things, a delicate touch of feathered butterfly wing. This is his escape.
A night whiles ago, he stood in the sands of Lake Michigan. Looming skyscrapers glowed behind while speckled yachts floated in the choppy, deep green waters, dancing on the horizon of soggy dark sky. The water lapped up over his toes and the sand sucked away with minor riptide and he imagined that he was sinking in quicksand.
'All this water, and it ends right here at my toes.' He ached.
These barriers of sandbars and sky and the paved urban playground reminded him of the contrast between the soothing safe womb he emerged from and the chaotic conundrum of life.
His youth pondered narrow dreams of catching the moon and watching his shadows grow under ornate street lamps. In daycare, at naptime, he would lie on his cot and stare at the clock, hoping to catch the hands move. He wanted to capture time. This absurd, frail moment Adam tried to trap was marred by a sensitive knowledge that he was only borrowing life. Don't blink, you might miss it.
His first mote ride came when he was seven. He woke early to get a jump start on four leaf clover pickings. The July sun had yet to peek over the horizon and the day was already flat and humid. Clad in tighty whities he creaked out of the house into the backyard. The morning glories threaded through the chain link were still withdrawn, puckered with sleep. The grass was wet and lush; dandelions, violets and the white fluffy headed clover patches under the gnarly, ancient lilac was his hunting ground. He squatted down and the dew soaked into the white cotton underwear while he ran nimble fingers through the forests of clover. The yard was urban small. Two minor patches of green between home and garage, separated by a strip of cracked concrete. A large doghouse sank in the corner of the yard, covered in Creeping Charlie. The sun put a first beam on the morning lawn and Adam's skinny tanned body. He watched a speckle of dew trickle down a blade of grass and the sun hit the drop like a jewel. Adam leaned close to the ground and licked the dew off the grass. He smelled the rich earth and breathed heavily in this awkward bow. His father leaving for work, disrupted the prayer.
'Adam, what are you doing?' He chuckled, swinging his briefcase, staring into his seven year old son.
'Looking for four leafed clovers.' Adam replied, rocking back on his haunches.
'Okie dokie, but go put some clothes on, you might scare the neighbors. Be good for mom today.' He rustled Adam's haggle of brown hair and walked away shaking his head.
Adam returned to the grass but found the sky had soaked up the night and the morning glories unfurled while Adam went inside to get dressed.
Since, the green hue of dawn fused to his spirit, little things became his will. Utilizing sense, he stores the memories like a filing cabinet and can muster emotion from the underside of a fern leaf or the orange stripe on a blackbird wing. Insects whisper secrets and puddles resonate mystery.
When the wind dies, Adam's dust mote lands and he is forced to accept the big world. Expectations erupted as he aged. While searching for the elusive, the little, he missed the neo-impressionist whole. He discovered that he was nowhere, not lost, standing still. Monetary achievement and fame surpassed him like a horse on the autobahn. Mote surfing became a delusional timesuck and flip flopped status with the string of education and corporate curmudgeon. He longed and wondered why his sensitive being was bruised, crumbling. He presumed the stinking salty lurking predator was to blame but knew that the sun just didn't shine as bright or the wind blow as hard. His soul had gained weight and toxins had transformed youthful dexterity into shaking fits.
When Adam is lucky to find a mote amidst the litter and clog of media and rush, he is careful to coddle it. He cries with it and through bleary eyes and choking repose, he tries to paddle away. This futile surf provides glimpses and the memory banks of emotion Adam has accumulated are becoming as rare as wild lupine and the Karner Blue.