Mustering up courage, I wait out the day in a sunny cafe, the world gaping from the windows. Hard drinks in the afternoon as I rehearse what I am going to say. Once escorted out of a bar by the beach, blacked out; now shakes of a different kind. One more drink to champion the everyday in me and perfect a worked-on effortlessness. Long swallow, with minutes to go I survey the site, twice, then one more time around the block to let the alcohol seep down to my fingertips. The world still gawking, the cosmos on high alert, all doors waiting to be opened.
I enter into society an unfinished man. In the rush of new encounters I am swept away by those who like rapids to my defiant rock, slam. The bottle in hand is the only tactile reality, if I stay quiet, may disappear completely. So I start talking to these faces, discolored ambient sockets of life, circuits of words blinking on and off, carrying on their own conversation. I am on fire, burning through a field of words in search of an anecdote. How cheaply my soul is given to break the ice, to those in the heat of energy expended playing out their reciprocating gestures, but off hours, in sober shops, to pass as strangers.
At some kink in the night, the attention bends back on me. A drunken woman I scarcely knew in high school but knows me apparently, in slurred celebration to talents I one time had, confesses an affection to me and my art. How loudly important both were to her imagined life, though I am almost certain she has me confused with someone else. But does it matter? Who am I in that moment anyways, but the reflection of some salved disquiet to bear witness to. There and always tucked in our own cells, clinking the bars with our glasses, wafting odes to some nostalgic past when we were free and formless, to be anything conjured now.
A glass raised in toast: long may we live to conceive our sad histories, to quake in love over nothing at all, live wholly in the dimples and freckles of time, and accept the wild varieties that wish to claim us!
Before the revelation wears off, I am released back into the fray. Happily evaporating beneath the timid stars, I leave absorbed, an errant thought in someone’s misremembered memory.