I kept these tight inside me, because I feared that they would slip away silently through the pores in my skin. They are people that I would like to keep, people who slip away with a bang and a whimper, oozing from under the cracks, a deluge of water that I want to stop, man versus nature, good versus bad, waves against the beach, rain against dark asphalt.
He pops up, now and then, jumping out from behind thin trees and curled corners of photographs as if to say 'Hi'. There are so many descriptions I could make, how we could pick up a conversation after a few days and understand like we never left off, how we would finish each other's sentences. I could go on, how he is adjective and he likes to verb, and the whole list could be rolled into six billion joints for everyone for everyone on this planet. Unfortunately, he was delayed in his own performance, raptured by his own sight, and so he stood there, transfixed while feathers and wax dripped where I wasn't there to see it. For a while, I had thought he was only gliding on his outstretched arms. I had hoped that he was right, this time. We were battling the depths of the sea and the reaches of the sky; the sun had nothing to it, I thought, then he fell like a stone.
So he is gone. Another shot in the dark, another one bites the dust, and our train's moving so fast that I can see him in the distance behind me, growing smaller, abandoned and forlorn, lying spread-eagled, sleeping on the ground. Someday he will wake up and start walking after his veins turn clean and blood-red again, because he is the kind of person who has faith, not in God nor in Buddha or Allah or Jesus or even himself but simply in faith itself. We used to say new things which we both instantly understood to unsuspecting passerby and ask them "do you understand?" Blank stares, pretentious replies, empty pretentiously-sagacious smiles, and we laughed, because Oh, this is this and that is that and we are now, and we have IT, and we would laugh in a moment of laughter, our voices ringing out into the night that seemed to be surrounding us with comfortable wamrth and playful questionablility.
And then things roll over. I'm supposed to know what happens next, and I do. Things also stop with a bang, a small short condensed story that could happen and would happen and has happened to anyone. You're left with the smell of gunpowder and the shot that's ringing in your eyes and ears, and I'm wondering, where should I go now? His hand said bye, and he was dressed in white, instead of black. It was as if he had changed, everything about him had changed, and the feeling of awkward silence settled over like a preying vulture, and I concluded everything that had passed before with a remark. Always a remark, always the passing stone thrown out the window that kills people, always the small things that weigh more. I didn't know him very well, but that didn't matter. Handshake, and I was gone, indignation hiding behind my jacket, hands in my sleeves, visible feelings in my breast pocket. He was gone. The room was clean. Bang. Boom. Snap. Like that, rushing rapidly towards a conclusion and now it's suddenly in-your-face and done, before you know it, the ride has ended and time to get off. Where did everything go? Now you see it, now you