by Jason Stutz
He stood leaning on a parking meter
observing people outside the nightclub.
They'd flow outside, then eddy in front, chatting
until one of their members found a cab or a car,
and they continued on toward home.
Some were beautiful or funny to watch, some wretched, some sad.
He noticed her, not startled, not knowingly,
but somehow, she registered behind his eyes
to a more subtle place of perception.
She filled him slowly
as though pouring into him through a sieve,
or as one looks up to the sky at night
looking for stars and seeing none, then one, then three
and then, there they all are
intercommunicating and twinkling in your eyes.
She had already hailed a cab. Her friend was already inside
hidden deep in the back seat in shadow.
The door was already opened and she was stepping in.
That moment, it flashed in his mind
he would never meet her, never love, never laugh,
never fight or misunderstand her;
never ever anything
As she bent into the back seat, her hand on the door,
she looked up for a moment, surprised
called by the pull of his silent voice
and when their eyes met
a magnetic field stretched taut and sounded,
like a drum skin just then beaten by the force of their meeting
resounding in the small, perfect world
created out of their two beings.
There was that powerful magnetism
There was a mysterious recognition
and there was a vague understanding,
coupled with an ill, helpless feeling
that they both hadn’t the strength or courage
to take the opportunity to be found in knowing each other.
Perhaps it was not meant to be,
but perhaps, if they were better people, more alert,
more confident in facing their joys
it would have been.
Time had given them reprieve;
nay, Time kneeled at their feet and cleared a path for their meeting!
and there they were
gazing upon each other, reflections
reflecting and reflecting each other each other each other! !
in the enclosure of their Eternity.
She lightly opened her mouth
as though to utter an unpronounceable phrase
saying (almost) in the honest shrug of her shoulder,
“I don’t know, Friend,
but this looks deep to me. '
a powerful magnetism that diminished the
ordinary chaos of the rest of the scene
revealing it all to be little more than
shadows and prerecorded songs–
angered echoes and rasping, half empty voices
calling out to lovers that were no longer there.
There was a mysterious recognition
and a flash in their minds of sex,
but more than that, the true richness of sex,
what it is when a right pairing is made,
as they walk along side by side through the world
sharing perceptions and thoughts
and everything that it is a joy to share with another,
withholding only that which would aid to increase their love.
That was the flash:
of the true richness of being together.
Strange that at that point
any ordinary human being would not
slough off their present circumstances in order to find out more.
But, quickly accompanied by the impulse to take immediate action
was the overwhelming urge
to stay comfortable,
rising up over the spine and washing over the brain;
a sickly, sweet blanket of ease.
There arose an ache deep in both their solar plexus’: remorse.
Standing there, his eyes widening, foot angling off the curb,
she turned to her friend, to the driver, to the world she was sure of.
Her hand slid from the door, a smile from her heart
and swung it shut from the inside.
He saw her mouth move, indicating to the driver.
There in the seat of the cab,
her motions reminded him
of a pool of water
eddying behind a rock
while the river rushed past her all around.
Destiny is, in this instance,
for the woman, the man, and for the man, the woman
not at the top of the river, but simply,
a little upstream- Destiny is
always a little up stream.
Destiny is something that must be earned
like money made investing oneself
against the downward current of ones life
in effort to gain immortal, beautiful, heavenly possessions found upstream.
The greatness of one’s Destiny is result of the Will in a man
which is a power he has built in him
akin to building strength in his muscles
by moving opposite the downward tug upon his intellect
when he beholds some preter- or super-natural thing of beauty,
thereby towing with him
a portion of the entire conglomerate mass
of mankind’s accumulated inertia
lightening the load for all humanity.
If we were angels
we would simply fly
on God’s Will
delighted to dismantle or rework the elements
until they accord with Love.
Time would be like
a nature trail we knew well how to find our way upon;
one we have an infinite supply of energy to traverse.
We could step
eddy to eddy
simply placing our foot down in some region of time
if we were gods
and slumped not in the strain of
mankind, his counter-thought
weighing down the waters of Time
blotting out his number in Infinity.
We would see
and then go to it.
But, a man sees
and then looks down
seeing the water flowing against him
and then he looks up again toward his destiny
still remembering the rush of water,
I wish I could say that this instance
was an occasion for the heavens to dance and sing.
I wish I could say that the love in this match
was real enough to both of them
that they called out to each other
and detained each other,
long enough to have known,
for at least one night,
or for many, many days and nights together.
I wish I could say
that the cabbie was not given the cue to drive.
But he drove
on into the flow of traffic.
At the stop light
and saw through the back window of the cab
the man still looking after her, stunned still
(a photograph) removed from time
and she thought to tell the driver to turn back
but when she asked her self “Why? ”
and the pressure of the great and glorious truth
moved to part it’s lips and voice itself inside of her
she lied, as loud as she could, told herself she was crazy
and that there was no good reason to turn back
and it was probably only a physical attraction anyway.
The driver pushed on to his destinations
while in the back seat
his passengers settled in
finding a current of conversation they found easy to navigate.
They spoke of everyday things
and were like little delightful streams of water
lapping against each others banks,
so pleasant and nonsensical to the ear
it doesn’t even matter what they were talking about;
so pleasant it really doesn’t matter at all.