You linger in the random moments. It is when I’m thinking of almost nothing that you come to me.
It’s on windy days as I wander the beach, the dog hundreds of yards ahead, and I watch surfers bobbing up and down along the waves that I see you. Your sandy hair still ruffled from sleep as you pull your wetsuit across your chest just before dawn on a September morning.
I catch myself smiling, your lips against mine as you kiss me goodbye on a beach miles and miles from home. I see you running across the sand, as the sun peaks above the sea and my feet are bare, my heart full of something I’ll never quite put into words.
But then the wind fades and with it does the color of your eyes.
And then it’s not you, but another who I think of.
My hand intertwined with yours as I pull you down the streets that grew me. Where I wandered and discovered, where I first fell in love, where I become a fraction of the woman you held so tightly to your chest.
I feel you still, sometimes. Alone in the shower when the water burns against my pale, winter skin. Your eyes, those deeply gray, blue eyes piercing through me as we stand together under the water. Your hands against my checks. I’ve never felt so seen, you whispered, desperately.
But I blink too fast, and you are gone all over again.
And sometimes, it isn’t even you, my dear, but a wave of moments with other beautiful boys that come to mind.
It’s drunken kisses under dim streetlamps on cool winter evenings or early morning coffee wrapped up in bedsheets. It’s heartbeats and fingers intertwined. It’s driving along the highway feeling you watch me, your hand resting on my knee. It’s rainy Tuesday afternoon walks in the woods as we share the simplicities of who we are. It’s long phone conversations that linger until I can hear you slip away from me into dreamland.
It’s all of those moments I find from time to time.
And it’s on the lonely days when I stand quietly searching out across the ocean that those memories become just for the briefest of time, melancholy.
And I find myself thinking of you, or you, or maybe even all of you and wonder what could have been. What would it be like now? What if those gray, blue eyes were still searching for something, somewhere deep inside of me? What if as I walked those beaches, I knew one of those bobbing bodies in the waves, had memorized the curves of your shoulder blades now and the spot on your elbow you once asked me to rub. What if on cool winter evenings, as I sit at my kitchen table and write, you were sitting not too far away, within reach.
What if, what if, what if?
But then I remember that what if you were here, is the silliest question of all. For it’s a fool’s game to wander down those lonely roads of things that will never come.
So, I ask myself instead, what if I never had you at all?
And I smile again because somewhere lingering where I keep all of the good things my hearts captured tucket away. I can hear your heart pounding. I can feel your hand wrapping around mine as we sit by a campfire on a beach far away from home. I can hear you whisper my name as you pull me closer.
And perhaps I’m a bit hopeless, some would say. To look back upon you with such tender affection and sweet smiles. But my god, you were a beautiful, little moment.
So, I will remain hopeless anyway, I suppose. As long it means staying drunk on moonlight kisses, beautiful boys, and memories that make my heart pound hard enough to write you down for good.