At the moment, I’m left to cuddle with my daydreams. A cold wind came in last night after I arrived into town and waking up to a dark morning was nothing upsetting, but it does not instill the enthusiasm it takes to pull me up easily from my bedding. Outside that ruthless windchill is overrunning my grandfather’s farm. The loud gleeful giggles from the meadows of alfalfa and rye tells me that the horses are out. From my bed, I can see them through the cobwebbed caked windows, playing chase with the wind, proud beasts that believe they can win the race. The oaks, still dawning their dresses of burnt umber leaves, dance wildly with the tearing rush of excitement. The wind seems to be stirring everything it touches, for me it stirs up memories.
My eyes have been glazed over for sometime now. They aren’t even looking at anything in particular accept the fly-like fascination of light coming from dust-filtered windows. The wind is mysterious in how it animates the world. But for what I am seeing I don’t need sight. After all, I am aging in my own cask of life’s wine, ruminating the past, sampling them for the first time in ages. How sweet they taste, sweeter than ever before.
Warm, and so thankful for being so, underneath the thick, handmade quilts that hug and anchor me to the mattress. My spirits feel as if huddled into a tight cluster of caressing optimism. Nothing is pertinent at this point except my mind playing nostalgic clips like a projector on the wall of my mind. The gusts that pummel the earth and pull the hair of the trees is irrelevant, the sound of people waking up downstairs, creaking floors, pans and plates, is no more than familiar, unintriguing movement. Where I am , at least in my mind, is a time ago, not long enough to remove the memory from circulation, but long enough to begin making policy in my mind to renew its license or revoke its eligibility for such fondness.
Nevertheless, in that moment, I’m coaxed into coming back once more. Back to what feels like home for a holiday visit. There, a warm, stirring house, a subtle scent of lavender and acridity rubbed and infused into the air. Nothing but bedsheet folds and breath between us. The memory takes place just after being brought to a boil. Reduced to simmer, steam only as smooth and gentle as the thoughts that leave from our heads. And what mist or cloud forms but the words mutually read, “I’ve missed you.” The words are spoken from our lips, written in entangled limbs, and made known by the car that has sat parked in front. Yet I pause the set to redirect with the reenactment. I prompt my actors by suggesting the slightly stare of eyelids hiding from something that may hurt, and asking “what does it mean for you to miss someone?”
In that question I, myself, drift off into an empty bedroom, an empty house even, to have the space to revel in wonder over such a question to my own empty audience before me. What does it mean to miss someone? Is it the person’s whole history or just the parts of the person I know that I am nostalgic for? Am I searching for them like a misplaced set of keys? And without them am I just as aimless and immobile? Is the door to my heart left locked or unlocked in which that person can only correct? Is that person the one whom without I cannot access a part of my own self? Am I afraid to go alone into a deeper, darker chamber? Are they the one who I can calmly trust to hold a torch over my head and reveal the stories to my wrinkles?
Is missing someone the unsatiated appetite or the apathetic stomach, where the keeper of the store may offer a thousand suggestions, but alas, nothing quite tastes right? Has it been that returning to them brings the sweetest taste that has ever touched my tongue? Have my days been only remembered in pale, gray memory since the last time we spoke in color? And does that explain why such great magnificent sights feel as irrelevant as cheap postcard pictures to me? Or does it explain why when together, I feel the world illuminated and the narrative of my life finally made legible to read and understand?
Is this person the bandage to my bleeding? Where, in their presence, the leaks that seep from the cracks of my foundation are finally stopped? Is this person the drying of my tears or can they make the waters return from tide and the tributaries come to meet and agree again as one river?
I roll over from the sunlight, because I know very well, even as the wind rustles the dirt and unearths the past, that I am only residing in the house of memory. Thinking of someone reads a clock that tells me how long time has past. When I miss someone I am elated and I am also sobered. That which I miss is the part of myself placed before and within them, but is not them. I miss them the same way I look to a song of which I know all the words and melody of which I can sing with all my heart and all my breath. I know that what I miss of that person is but what I favor and savor from a time well past, but at least, for what I feel, at the very moment that I lay here in my bed, waiting for the sunlight to choke me awake, that the warmth that keeps me comfortable is made by the thought of them so near.