It would take more than a thunderbolt, it would take more than a lightning bolt, more than a storm that keeps coming and won't finally arrive. It would take more than her close reading of the unfolding climate. I too, would like to believe in tenderness but there is nothing in the mailbox, nothing on the front step, the sun, muffled in the winter sky, is only bald and oblivious.
Certain days roll out like gift wrap and it's easy to race through the city streets in cold and the way to disappearing. I am unaware of what I might have done to prevent the inevitable tear, I read in a book that Aram found on the bus and brought home. "One of your kind of books," he said and for the first time, I can't tell him what has me so faraway this dumb afternoon. I walked a long time earlier, thought of my parent's silence, their quiet, gesturing world, how far outside it I had always been. Had it been any wonder that it was Sam's love for speed that both drew and terrified was a metaphor: the bike he nearly tipped each time he rounded a curve, the look, that to keep him alive, had to keep itself far, far ahead, never to where it was about to be, but to the place far ahead from where he was now. Of course, I was furious when he died, on the road with a quart of skim milk and a dozen eggs scattered up against the sidewalk, and Sam too, a terrible humpty dumpty of the mundane streets that held none of the thrill for him. But they landed him in a forever-elsewhere, which loving Sam felt most like the place he wanted to be. Like his best moments, another place where I couldn't be. There was such a sweetness to him afterwards, like after love or a long, lean afternoon in the woods, walking in silence, so that the crack of twig and dried leaf that formed the grid under our feet seemed to disrupt the entire forest. Sam's thoughts though, I swore I could hear them as the another lesser-crackeling and even as I could see his ring catching light where his arm swung down, I felt I could see him eyeing the furthest-most point of the trail, gauging how long it would take us to arrive at points we would never reach, and the gold band toying with sunlight seemed to twinkle out a code:
I am not your own, I am not your own.
I wondered at the desultory silvering water, the park overcast with expectations she armored herself against. The clouds do not undulate in sympathy but as foreshadowing.
from Season of White Flies