Writing, painting, singing-it cannot stop everything. Cannot halt death in its tracks. But perhaps it can make the pause between death's footsteps sound and look and feel beautiful, can make the space of waiting a place where you can linger without as much fear. For we are all walking each other to our deaths, and the journey there between footsteps makes up our lives.
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Any other questions?" "Just one, " I say. "What color are your eyes?" I want to know what he thinks, how he sees himself - the real Ky - when he dares to look. "Blue, " he says sounding surprised, "they've always been blue." "Not to me." "What do they look like to you?" he says puzzled, amused. Not looking at my mouth anymore, looking into my eyes. "Lots of colors, " I say. "At first I thought they were brown. Once I thought they were green... " "What are they now?" he asks. He widens his eyes a little, leans closer, lets me look as long and deep as I want. "Well?" "Everything, " I tell him, "They're everything.
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Until now, I've never been able to see while I fly, and I feel a dizzying lightness as I look out at the land below us. Is this what I've missed? The stars have come to the earth, and the ocean has turned over the ground; dark waves meet the sky. They are unmoving, barely visible but for the light of the sun rising behind them. Mountains, I realize. That's what the ocean is. Those waves are peaks. The stars are lights in houses and on streets. The earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we're lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are.
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Ky gives me three gifts for my birthday. A poem, a kiss and the hopeless, beautiful belief that things might work. When I open my eyes... I say, "I didn't give you anything for your birthday, i don't even know when it is." And he says, "Don't worry about that" and I say, "What can I do?" and he answers, "Let me believe in this, all of this, and you believe it too." And I do.
What did you think about?" I wish I could tell him that I thought about him, but I lied to him once and I won't do it again. And besides, I wasn't thinking about Xander either. "I thought about angels, " I say. "Angels?" "You know. The ones in the old stories. How they can fly to heaven." "Do you think anyone believes in them anymore?" He asks. "I don't know. No. Do you?" "I believe in you, " he says, his voice hushed and almost reverent. "That's more faith than I ever thought I'd have.
If you love someone, if someone loved you, if they taught you to write and made it so you could speak, how can you do nothing at all? You might as well take their words out of the dirt and try to snatch them from the wind. Because once you love, it is gone. You love and you cannot call it back.
I'm so tired. Once, I wanted to watch the floods coming into a canyon, to stand on the edge and see it happen, on ground that was safe but shaking. I'd like to hear the trees snapy away and see the water come higher, I thought, but only from a place where it couldn't reach me. Now I think it might be a terrifying, bright relief to stand on the canyon floor and see the wall of water coming down, and to know this is it, I am finished, and before you could even complete the thought, you would be swallowed, and whole.
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All of the things that were shown in early studies to be good for longevity-happy marriages, healthy bodies-are ours to have. We live long, good lives. We die on our eightieth birthdays, surrounded by our families, before dementia sets in. Cancer, heart disease, and most debilitating illnesses are almost entirely eradicated. This is as close to perfect as any society has ever managed to get.
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Isn't it funny how the memories you cherish before a breakup can become your worst enemies afterwards? The thoughts you loved to think about, the memories you wanted to hold up to the light and view from every angle-it suddenly seems a lot safer to lock them in a box, far from the light of day and throw away the key. It's not an act of bitterness. It's an act if self-preservation. It's not always a bad idea to stay behind the window and look out at life instead, is it?
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Everyone has something of beauty about them. But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete.
I draw in a ragged breath, the kind you take when the pain is too deep to cry, when you can't cry because all you are is pain, and if you let some of it out, you might cease to exist. I want to do something to make this better, even though I know that nothing can change the fact of my father gone and under ground.
Thank you, " I tell Xander. "I didn't get anything for you -" "It's all right, " he says, "but maybe - you could -" He looks into my eyes and I know what he wants. A kiss. Even thought he knows about Ky. Xander and I are still connected; this is still good-bye. I know already that that kiss would be sweet. It would be what he would hold on to, as I hold on to Ky's. But that's something I don't think I can give. "Xander -" "It's all right, " he was, and then he stands up. I do too, and he reaches for me, pulls me close.