Comfortable silences are overrated.
There. I said it. Or a dude in a song did; either way:
I don’t like to indulge them.
Not when there are a million stars and twice as many constellations, not when the air can smell like the ocean even though there isn’t one for miles and miles, not when we could be laughing or–
“It feels like forever,” she says, eyes closed and hands clutching at the grass. “I feel like we’ve been coming up here for forever,” and it’s strange because she’s never been one for over-exaggerations but maybe she’s not here. “Hasn’t it been forever?” eyes open now but looking over a place that isn’t here, but someplace where that could be true. I shrug.
“It feels like forever,” she repeats, just because she can.
“Maybe,” I acquiesce. A beat. Then, “I’m bored.”
“Wanna race to the river?” she asks, and then she’s off as I pull up, slower than I would have liked, behind her, our laughs ringing out as we shoot down the hill.
We have been coming up here forever. The ridiculous ribbons she insists on wearing for no other reason than the alliteration stream out behind her, much like my hair–displaced in a way I haven’t been for well over a couple years now. In the days of sketchy motels and blurry towns, the realization would have sent a jolt of panic up my spine but today (here), the familiarity slides smoothly into a hollow that had gone unannounced until it was gently removed.
I speed up just a little and don’t bother to refrain from gloating.
“Well of course you won, your legs alone could be 6 feet tall, you freak,” she gasps out between breaths once she’s finally at the bank and I shove at her until we both collapse, a heap of fluttery dresses and skirts and slightly torn t-shirts.
What feels like hours, but could quite possibly be mere minutes, pass as we catch our breaths, the sky a washed-out blue that’s so boring but so immensely reassuring that I forgive it for it.
“The Eskimos didn’t have a hundred words for snow, by the way,” I blurt out for some reason.
She’s understandably confused. “What?”
“There’s that quote you like, right? With the Eskimos and Egyptians? It’s a myth, I looked it up.” I don’t know who I’m punishing. If I am.
She’s squinting, “Oh, I know. It’s just nice to think it anyway, is all.”
“Hmm.” I start humming a song she starts tapping out on her knee.
“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”
P.S What’s this??????? not??? a??? poem????
It’s barely like 500 words but hey, it counts!