Selective Focus

What I wanted to say was that I was wrong to mix the pros and the cons to make something beautiful. February in Seattle is moving. The water is everywhere, the rain. Maybe it’s safer to say I should have known better than to face the fact that I knew all along, knew while you leaned off the railing, leaned off the edge and spoke about something intangible that we were probably meant to have made different decisions along the way.

I keep going over the hour in my head as if each one of its minutes represented a decade. Perhaps we met for the first time around the twenty minute mark, around when you started crying, your face flat to the wind. Another ten minutes went. The deckhand told us that we ought to walk away, unsuspecting. At the half-hour mark we entered our thirties, losing grips on our dreams but hopeful them still. I reached out my hand, I tucked away the hair behind your ear, noticing that you hadn’t washed it for a while. It had a thicker feel to it, and you brushed my hand away and said something like, “not necessary,” or, “please,” something simple and I said nothing, not wanting to startle you and not wanting to pry.

In our forties, maybe we could have taken flying lessons finally. Maybe we could have gotten tattoos or done cocaine or run naked through the snow.

You yelled at me for three nights before the final hour. The lightbulb to your favorite lamp had blown out, no extra bulbs in the house, the local shop closed. Said you didn’t like living in darkness, said you hated the way the street lamps shone, all negativity. Getting to sleep early that night did both of us good I think, and we slept a very thick sleep without heat because we wanted to know truth. You didn’t wake up any worse. You spoke of boats to the foggy window.

As of today, December 21, 2014 there are twenty-three ferries that operate on the Puget Sound. Most of them go to places that most people know about. Their routes are outlined clearly across the terminals. You buy tickets at ticketing machines. Fauntlerine/Vashon, Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston. I’m not sure how fast these ferries travel, although with you in the wind at the edge of the railing, it seems we travel fast after all.

If I try to remember the pieces of the rest of the hour in detail, I end up focusing too much one one particular element, like the shape of a cloud. Or I think too much about the people at the hospital, obsessing over their demeanor or the words that they used, the carefully crafted cunning little words that they used at the end of the world. Like I’ll go over and go over the color of the walls. Your shoes. Your damaged little wrists. Or the moon behind the clouds when I left once it was over. How the moon only glows when you can’t really see it.