Skip to main content

To the Moon

One moment I was hanging from Perry’s shoulders, my arms around his neck, a movie in slow motion. The next moment was a series of film frames in fast-forward: My arms rubbed his arms as we pulled apart. Our hands found each other and connected. They loosened and the tips of my fingers grazed his palm, slid over his knuckles. Our fingertips dallied before our arms fell to our sides. Then, the void I was dreading. Roll credits.

One hour ago, we were standing in a smoky bar. It was the last day of finals, and I had just come from a five-hour work shift. We tried and failed to have a conversation because the band was much too loud for the size of the room. I was exhausted, and a bar was the last place I wanted to be. But for Perry’s last night in town, I would have gone to the moon. It felt like I'd been rocketed there already, anyway.

One night ago, we were sharing a twin bed, innocently, his head on the pillow and mine on his shoulder. I was asking him, no, begging him not to go. I was full of ideas to keep him in town for just one more semester. Keep working, get an internship, take another class. Postpone the inevitable. But it was his life moving forward, unstoppable, not mine. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

One week ago, he helped me in through his window late at night after his roommate refused to let me through the door. After I climbed inside, he dealt the first hand. We stayed up until moonset playing cards, never lacking conversation, as always. The Doors were on repeat and I swear that CD looped at least five times before we realized that we both had to go to work in an hour.

One month ago, I was at the time clock when Perry invited me to the party his roommates were throwing that night. Before then, I’d never spent any time with him outside of work. Last minute, I decided to go. We abandoned the party immediately and went into his room to listen to music, playing cards in between sentences. We fell asleep on his bed, friends only, but already anticipating the next time we would see each other.

One minute ago, I was dangling in Perry’s embrace. Now I was alone, vulnerable, as I stood on the curb, willing the movie to switch to rewind. I shut my eyes, wondering how it happened. How we went from strangers to best friends in less than a semester. And how it was ending as quickly as it began. I squeezed my eyes ever tighter, refusing emotion. Turn around, come back! I pleaded silently. One more minute. One more night. One more card game. One more conversation. Let’s rocket to the moon.

One second ago, I opened my eyes, and Perry was out of sight.




Comments

  1. I like how you structured this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. That was indeed my primary focus when I was writing it!

      Delete
  2. What nice memories of your fleeting friendship! But how sad too. I wonder, did you ever get back in touch? You did a great job at presenting so many different emotions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did. We didn't have the luxury of facebook or email back then, but we eventually found each other again a year or so later. We're friends to this day. :)

      Delete
  3. Reminds me of leaving my boyfriend (now husband) for long breaks from college. I, too, would count days, hours, minutes. Now, those time increments just slip away without notice sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true. It makes me think I'm not living "in the moment" anymore. But I think that happens to everyone.

      Delete
  4. loved how this read. kind of poetic and sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Poetic and sad is what I was going for.

      Delete
  5. Great pacing! You could really feel the being pulled apart. I'm glad that you were able to reconnect later on :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yep, me too, it's a friendship worth hanging on to. :)

      Delete
  6. I really liked the way you wrote this. So sad. But I'm glad to hear that you are still friends to this day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was an interesting read- different and I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... I like different. :)

      Delete
  8. i really enjoyed reading this.nicely written. and sad.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really enjoyed the pacing and the structure. Beautiful and sad, and I am happy that your friendship has lasted!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is such a universal experience, retold so beautifully. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that, I was a little worried that nobody would "get" it. I'm happy that everyone is able to relate. :)

      Delete
  11. This is lovely -- how you measure the time. It set the post up for really good flow.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great portrayal of friendship and a goodbye!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and thanks for reading!

      Delete
  13. I'll add my praise to the other comments. I really enjoyed how you structured this story. We don't always remember events sequentially, and you've captured it in this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, I am so thankful for the positive feedback on the structure of this story. It was exactly what I was focusing on the most, and it felt a bit experimental. I'm glad it worked. :)

      Delete
  14. I like how you structured this too. So well done. I've been in a similar situation and this really took me right back there. You conveyed the emotions so well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love everything about this. Saying goodbye is never easy especially when you are left wondering--what could have been?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Daner, Late to the party here, but have to say -- you're awesome. Your ability not just to tell a story -- but totally draw me in and make me relive my own experiences -- incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you Steph - it means so much that you not only read my stuff but can relate! love you sistah :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Part 1: College Submission

Alice stepped onto the dock in the backyard where her daughter sat, feet dangling into the creek.
“Maddie, help me with dinner, please.”
“But I need supplies for my presentation board.”
Alice inhaled tightly. “It’s almost curfew, Madison. Why didn’t you remind me earlier?”
“It’s just stuff from Target. I can go myself.”
“No. Write down what you need. I’ll go right now.”
“Seriously, mom, it’s okay. I’m 18. I can sign.”
Alice was firm. “Inside now, please, and make a shopping list.”
Madison rolled her eyes, but obeyed. Arguing was futile.
Alice grabbed Madison’s list in one hand, purse in the other. No use getting frustrated. College applications were treacherous; the private schools made it nearly impossible. If Madison’s project didn’t astonish the enrollment board at Elmwood, her acceptance could be revoked and she’d end up at State.
State was a good school, but it didn’t have the budget for security. Outside the ivies (which no longer accepted applications from non-legacy candidates), Elmwood…

Part 2: Campus Tour

Alice looked impatiently at her watch. Five more minutes until her daughter Madison and the other four candidates would present their high school theses to the Elmwood University enrollment board. 
“Shouldn’t we head to the lecture hall?” Alice asked the tour guide. She didn’t want to miss Maddie’s presentation, a discussion about the Constitution. "The Bill of Negative Rights", she called it.
“Oh, that’s a closed event, ma’am. We’ll finish up the tour in time for you all to retrieve your students.” The tour guide didn’t even pause before continuing. “Next we are going to walk through the residential quad. Naturally, we will not be going inside any of the residence or dining halls for security reasons.”
“Are the dorms co-ed?” asked a parent.
“No, they’re all gender-segregated. Each entrance is equipped with a fingerprint reader and laser counter to ensure only authorized residents have access.”
Well, that’s overkill, thought Alice. What fun is college if you can’t sneak boys into…

Hotel Bar

I can’t answer anymore.
He stabbed the cork and twisted clockwise. “Patience. They’re here only one night. You, a month.”

Pop, pour.
Time stops in a hotel.
A stranger arrived next to me. “Where’re you from?”
Yet again, I answer.

Pop, pour.




Answering the ultimate question: Have all your clocks stopped?