“Dammit, John,” she said. “If we could just get back to Portugal.”
John. What is there to say about John. He has a flash to his eyes and an especially genuine smirk. A wall 90 feet high. What can you say about John? You can say anything you want. He won’t contradict you.
I was walking along the boardwalk. Trying to hear nature. Be one with it and all that. I could only hear inside my head. Sometimes I hear a particularly genius phrase or snippet of words. I cling to it, like food for my mind. Like a lifeboat to drift among the thoughts. They talk about “mindfulness”. Being in the moment. But I’m convinced that moments are like waves. They come and go and they take pieces of solid earth along with them. What if I can’t be in a moment, but I can float upon it? I can drift and bob and sink.
I’ve been in moments. Before. There was a moment. In Portugal. I felt salty breezes through the fabric of my cotton dress. A haze lifted momentarily. I broke some sort of code. I hacked past a certain set of rules. I can’t remember exactly. But there was an ocean breeze, there was some sort of foreign clarity, and there was a shower and blood everywhere.
She was laughing, her head cocked at a playful angle. She had a pretty dress and a shattered heart. She was laughing, and the roads were made of white stone, and I can’t remember anything else.
“Dammit, John!” she’s saying now. “Dammit. John.” But he can’t remember Portugal, just like me.