Wednesday, October 09, 2002

The Hue from Shore - Part 9 of 9

Backwards over the Horizon

Later that night, he was back at his parent's house, staying the night before he headed home the next day. The setting highlighted things, because he was in the same old bedroom (even though it had long since been redecorated into a generic guest room, these surroundings still stirred an association with his previous pining for Mindy.

He savored the sweetness of the memory of just a couple of hours ago. A week later he would look back and ask himself if this had really happened. But at this moment, it was all so fresh, and he didn't want it to fade. This evening had validated everything positive from the past, and had opened up new thoughts, thoughts he never really let himself think ever before, about what might have been.

He knew that he needed to record the events that had just transpired, because as time passed they'd seem fantastic in the worst sense. This was the kind of experience that seems more and more like an exaggerated flight of fancy as they move further into the past. He left a few voicemails for his close friends, charged up with the experience. He jotted down some thoughts about the evening on a notebook page.

A few days later, realizing that at this point he was facing a memory only, albeit a great one, that would gradually fade into a mental scrapbook chapter, he decided to write a letter to Mindy. He was setting aside his previous pronouncement to her about it being better not to stay in touch. Was this a sign of weakness now, or was that a needlessly strict boundary earlier? He didn't have an answer, but he sat down and wrote a letter.


It was great seeing you and having the chance to spend some time together at the reunion. You have grown beyond the person who I always admired in high school. You are a sensitive and thoughtful person, a pleasure to be around.

Years pass, and more years pass, but when do we stop to take account of things? One day you're throwing a snowball at your friend in 6th grade, thinking what high school is going to be like in a few years, the next you're at your 20th reunion. I look back now and wish that we could have talked more, spent more time together, all those years ago.

Mindy, I would like to keep in touch. I wish you the best in your work and in your upcoming marriage, and am sure that you are headed for more great things in life.


Two months passed.

Tim didn't hear back from her. He thought about the likelihood that he wouldn't hear from her again. He considered how he might well have had a real chance with her back in High School. He also thought about how that her impending marriage meant that all real possibility lay in the past. He knew that he could not live in that past. He took out a blank sheet of paper and wrote:

At the edge of a wide unknown lake
I stood on the shore
the water had a deep hue
I couldn't discern the depth
that hue could have concealed a rock right below the surface
it could also have been the gateway to untold depths
the depth can't be judged remotely
stepping in was necessary
diving in head first had left some badly hurt
staying on shore removed all possibility of injury
I remained on shore
how deep was the water?

---------- The End ----------------


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