like those blurry photographs you cherish the mostPosted: December 1, 2010
There’s that moment when the dial tone stops short and your breath pauses for half a second.
And it’s usually followed up by the sound of a recording, a canned response addressed to the ghosts haunting unanswered phone calls. But not this time. Instead, what flows towards your ears from the magic of magnets and waves is the reminder of that person’s actual voice, whose words are tailored to the frequency that makes your heart melt. There’s nothing sweeter than knowing what’s waiting for you on the other end, a shared feeling that’s so effervescent it’s difficult to contain. They’re running late, as they always are. But they’ll be near you soon enough.
Those moments of anticipation are worth the potential heart attack. When those drums start beating on the sides of your stomach and that lump starts forming in the recesses of your throat about as enthusiastically as children making their first snowman, it puts you in a state of being alive so close to being dead you start to wonder exactly when you’ll black out and start convulsing on the ground. You’ve been sitting at that park bench for the past half hour, the same park bench that you scurried to after jumping out of the train about a half hour prior. It’s getting to that point where your fingernails are digging permanent etchings in the brittle wood, adding to its collection of scars.
Your eyes squint to hide the sun’s glare. Maybe you’ll see them before they see you, or maybe they won’t show up and your eyes will be prepared for the tears if they decide to flow. Once your gaze meet theirs and there’s some sort of instinctively satisfied grin that overtakes your faces, only then will that tempest of neuroses be quelled, and that knot fully formed in the middle of your chest unravels, leaving nothing more than unbridled happiness. They know where you are, you just have to wait.
The sky is its happiest shade of blue and its whistling is enough to make you shiver even inside your navy wool coat. Though you’re trying your best to stay warm by yourself when you’d much rather be warm with someone else, your body isn’t doing much to help what your mind knows will stop you from catching a cold. The goosebumps that are scattered on the back of your neck when you want nothing more than what isn’t there are being teased by the careless wind and you want nothing more than to know they’re by your side.
Your lungs quicken even as you try to play it cool. Hopefully they won’t notice, because when you finally do share that inevitable embrace, you’ll be wrapped in a warmth fostered by distance and longing, a flame stoked by anxiety and nerves, it’d be difficult to explain why you’re so flustered. They’re close now; you can feel it in that spot behind your ear that reminds you to turn around, that spot in your leg that twitches violently in furious anticipation or lack of ease.
Sometimes you get lost in your own thoughts which meander with ease from one thing to the next and your body is left staring into a distance while your mind is dancing, slamming against the sides of your cranium. But it soon stops. See, there’s a lightness to the atmosphere those seconds before your mind realizes what’s in front of you. A toothy grin, a cheery disposition, and an arm extended as an invitation to stand, a puzzle solved as your whole self ascends to such ethereal heights from something so ephemeral as seeing someone else.
From that point on, it won’t really matter what color shirt they’re wearing when you see them, the manner by which their hair is adjusted, tossed around by the day’s winds, what day the calendar says it should be or even how far the sun is across the sky at that very moment your arms intertwine. Those things probably won’t even be remembered, carried away by the crescendo of heartbeats and emotion that you so readily threw yourself into, for which you were waiting agonizing spans of time. Instead, quite paradoxically, what is left is a vague recollection of events and a vivid impression of emotion, a niche carved into your heart that forms as you dig your face into their chest.
Those hazy memories are usually the fondest, anyway.