I probably won’t ever write you anything like he could. I probably won’t ever capture you like that. The snapshots he takes speak volumes in their eloquence and style; sing music to you. I envy it, really. And I can’t pretend that it doesn’t worry me.
He’s got novel ideas. I’m just short stories you’ve read a thousand times. Stories you love, yes, but you know how they go. Any new chapters would just develop old characters into circular plots that end where they began, like sitcoms and cartoons. No more of the excitement and drama. I can’t write you into anything but my own hackneyed ideas now, like a musician trying to recapture the adoration of his first hit – rewriting the same song until he’s quietly forgotten on the shelves and streets. Left to shuffle home and wonder how exactly it was he could capture the world’s attention like that; and how lucky he got, even just once.
Fifteen minutes. I knew it was limited, so I drank it in every second. High and drunk, taking drags and sips on us until reality fell into a blur and I could steal you away and escape. Remember that Vonnegut quote? One starts it, the other finishes, and both know what it means: be here, now. Carry those nows. That’s what life is – a series of nows that become thens. Moments in time that never really exist except when we pick them out and force them to. Force them to exist for us. We hold them up to the light and examine them as if they were shapes in a kaleidoscope. All the colors are the same. The light is the same. But we’ll never see the same images. No. Those moments are private, and no matter how intimately we share them – like clouds – they’ll be different in memory. So capture them as fully as you can. If we don’t catalog them now, we’ll forget them then.
People say things about soul mates. But really, none of that matters because that’s never been our style, and we’d just laugh at ourselves for suggesting such ridiculousness – regardless of how accurate we knew the description to be. It’s a strange kind of metaphysical irony when you try to dismiss as ridiculous those things which make perfect sense. And you dismiss them because life has presented them at what you believe is exactly the wrong moment. But then in time, you go back to those stories and those pictures and those memories and you remember again; and you realize how perfect life’s timing was, and how much you still hate that things didn’t go differently. But you smile through all the nonsensical bullshit because it was exactly what you needed exactly when you needed it. And because you still have the stories and pictures tucked away for any time you want to remember.
The images will be different. The clouds will shift in time. But the day will still be beautiful, and we’ll still be lying on the grass together, staring at the sky.