The 11th of June 1985 – Pawtucket, Rhode Island

(found by a set of wings)

Kathy,

I got carried away, but I’m not sorry about it.

Maybe I’m out of things to say. Maybe I’m only out of things that are worth saying, but I’m still not sorry about it.

Listen: I’m a man without a course. I’m a person without a purpose, and I never expected anything to be able to hold me down and keep me on track. I never thought that there was a single thing in the universe that could keep my attention for more than a glass of wine or a sip of coffee.

I’m one of those boats floating on the ocean, one of those rudderless crafts whose route through the waves is determined by a combination of the direction of the wind and the current of the sea and maybe the height of the sun, but it never moves according to the wills of the captain, as if the captain had any wills at all. It may not look like that from the outside, but what can I say about that? I look good in a tailored suit. I’ve practiced my smile.

Then, out on the sea, there’s a storm. There’s a big thunderstorm, and it ends up sitting right above that lashed-together bundle of twigs. Bolts of lightning come sparking down from the clouds and crack, crack, crack until one of them comes zapping through that little boat.

I don’t know what happens, whether the fire is literal or just some vague idea in the mind of the ship captain, but suddenly there’s something to do. There’s something to see, and there’s something to focus on. There’s something important.

There’s urgency. Sudden, unavoidable and desperate urgency.

And it’s overwhelming, if you can understand that. And if you can’t, well, there isn’t much for me to say.

Here’s what I’ll tell you. Here’s my excuse.

It wasn’t the first time I saw an angel, but it was the only time one ever took a second to stop and say hello.

And I never felt so desperate, and I never felt so alone, and I never cared so much about a smile.

And I got carried away, but I’m not sorry about it.

-Harold

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