« on: June 18, 2014, 05:42:34 PM »
"Tell me about the last beautiful thing you laid eyes on. Something that stayed with you." Johnny asked his buddy, Thomas, as the two sat in Thomas? back yard, pregaming for a summer cook out.
"I was watching this girl...this woman playing in a fountain. She had this quality about her that was amazing, you know? Just the way she moved in a way that wasn't practiced. She was beautiful without realizing it. Had this grace without artifice or affectation, not even cognizant of how much she could wield that to bring us to our knees." Thomas answered while repeatedly stabbing out a dying cigarette in an ash tray and immediately lighting another one.
"You could tell all that by watching her splash around in a fountain?" Johnny asked, a brow arched in serious question. His drinking buddy didn?t usually talk this way.
"If you look close enough you can tell that by how every woman moves.? Thomas paused and blew out a thoughtful exhale of smoke. ?Yeah. This one was heartrendingly unaware of her mystique. Found that more refreshing than the cool water she was playing in. It was...I don't know. Innocent and sensual at the same time. How her hands moved through the water, the way the fabric of her dress clung to her legs, the way she looked at the droplets in her fingers like she held diamonds.? Thomas blew out another exhale and plucked up the bottle opener from the table.
?Felt like I had come upon this beautiful, otherworldly, nymph in her element you know?? The cap flipped off the top of a fresh beer, Thomas pausing for a satisfying pull before continuing, ?I was just pulled and rooted to the spot, like she was a Siren who served Fate. Had called me to this place at this specific time and I was just trying to keep my head above water, man.? Thomas gestured with the bottle and cigarette to indicate the passage of time as he spoke.
?After a while I realized I'd been holding my breath like I didn't want to disturb the air around the moment and have it end. She was beautiful. Totally in her own world and I was just the lucky bastard who wandered into it.?
?Shoulda snapped a picture.? Johnny chipped in as he finished off his beer and tossed it into the trash while chuckling and fishing a fresh one from the nearby cooler.
?Like kids, man.? Thomas continued, ignoring Johnny?s interruption. ?You ever watch 'em play and out of nowhere they just kind of squeal with this sound of delight and hug themselves? Then they either just start running or bouncing in place or just spin around? No reason really. Just the sheer joy of being alive?"
"Yeah.? Johnny answered after sipping from his bottle and giving a glance to the grill and the meat which sizzled a few feet away. ?My sister has a two year old and a four year old, and it's like watching little mental patients with impulse control issues." Johnny stood to drift towards the grill and pour some of his beer over the meat and coals. ?They never shut up.?
?Nah man.? Thomas answered with a shake of his head and lifted the cigarette up to his lips. ?They're not crazy. We are. We lose that feeling somewhere. Society beats it or shames it out of us or something. Or maybe we just get to the age when we become hyper aware of ourselves. When it's not enough to just be. We gotta achieve, compete...perform ya know?? Thomas continued, tapping out the ash of his cigarette onto the tray before continuing without waiting for an answer.
?Then after we're so beat down from all that wasted energy, we're trying to drink, drug or buy our way back to that feeling. But you can't duplicate that fix, man . Even if you jab a vein to try and tap that line, it's never the same.?
"Well...we can try Romeo.? Johnny answered as he closed the lid of the grill and reclaimed his seat at the backyard table. ?Gimme one of your smokes and then go ahead and tell me more about this girl in the fountain. I'm enough beers in to be curious." Johnny gave a gap toothed smile as he fished one of Thomas? cigarettes from the pack lying on the table. He gave a gesture for Thomas to continue before sparking the lighter to the end of the smoke.
?I don't know. This girl...she held onto that quality somehow. She had these eyes. They were unlike anything I'd ever seen. I couldn't even classify them into a color. They were all colors drawn together, like the forming of a star. And you know, I'm a little ashamed to admit now man that my first thought was how do I get her into bed.? Thomas continued, lifting his beer up for sip?as if he could hide the shame behind the action.
"Nothin' wrong with that. Been an instinct since the beginning man.? Johnny twisted to gesture to the grill. ?Like charring mammal flesh, man. It's primal. S'natural. Wanting to take 'em back to the cave and all that."
"Yeah I hear you,? Thomas answered, nodding in silence for a moment as he smoked his cigarette. ?But a funny thing happened. You know, it was like this moment where I was outside of myself looking at myself. Like I had tapped myself on the shoulder and I started thinking about it. And I was kinda ashamed for some reason you know?
"Bout what?" Johnny grunted as he switched out cigarette for beer.
?Why is it all about possession?? Thomas asked, seeming to stare off into the distance for a moment, lost in his own world. ?We see a beautiful thing whether it be a deer in the woods or a beautiful woman, and all we can think about is taking 'em home and mounting 'em to a wall. It's not enough to just sometimes be with it...in that moment for what it is. Even if it?s transient, you know? Something in our programming has to possess...to own. I don't know, it got me thinking, are we so starved for beauty that we have to constantly think of ways to hoard it? Do we think there's a finite amount?
?Well?? Johnny began, beer in one hand and cigarette in the other, ?I?ve been with enough of the not so beautiful ones to know that when I got a beautiful one?? a grin behind the sip of beer, ?I damn well do want to possess em for as long as I can, ya know??
"Yeah?but that?s you.? Thomas answered with a flick of his cigarette. ?The greats man. They knew it. Knew it wasn't about ownership. Michelangelo regretted it the moment he chose to sign the Piet? out of pride. He knew that masterpiece was bigger than he was. He just caught that wave man, where the rest of us are just kinda doggy paddling. Just tryin' to learn how to swim. But he had the grace to know the sculpture was already there. But it didn't belong to him. He sculpted it, but he didn't own it. And Nikolai Tesla man...not enough people know about him."
"Who?" Johnny interrupted with his own brand of confusion. He sipped from his bottle and stared blankly across the table at his friend.
"Don't even get me started,? Thomas answered with a shake of his head. ?Look him up. He was a brilliant mind. He was able to tap that source too. And it wasn't about all how he could sell it, you know? That was Edison's game. Course Tesla died penniless alone in New York in a hotel room feeding pigeons that he loved. Pigeons are like rats with wings man, but he loved 'me. Breaks my heart for the poor bastard."
"So what happened? You talk to her?" Johnny asked, bored with a history lesson that flew over his head.
"The girl man." Johnny prompted with a stab of his cigarette.
"Right. Anyway, she turns over her shoulder and catches me watching her. I'm busted and a little embarrassed, but I can't look away. However long this moment lasts, I'm just in it man. I'm wading in that water with her, looking at those eyes and suddenly, it's like time, space, dimension...it doesn't matter. And I felt it...that feeling. Like I caught that wave. Like everything was possible. We were just there without limits or borders or boundaries between us.? Thomas continued, back on topic and pausing to take a swig from his bottle, savor the flavor and continued. ?Then she tips her head and smiles at me, in this kinda sly, knowing way...you know...like..."
"Like what?" Johnny asked, leaning a bit forward as he sensed a juicy conclusion.
"Like...I got it. A fellow fox that managed to escape the same trap."
"Huh." There was a long pause from Johnny as his cigarette slowly burnt the last of itself down to the filter. "So...you didn?t take her home?"
"Forget it man...forget it. Just drink your beer."