Friday, August 1, 2008

A Moment with Marcie Pt. 2

"Honey, there is no answer, there is nothing at all," she said. "What I am, right here and now, is what I am."

I felt a little let down and I bit my lip as I looked up at her with my head bowed a bit, but she stopped me cold. I felt a little less than enlightened.

"Let me ask you, honey," she said. "Do you believe in me, being here with you right now, or do you believe I am just some thought you had or some story you lived? Because right now, I feel like you think I am memories turned into, I don't know, a mannequin or something."

And though the hurt in her voice and its tone, combined with her upturned hands, was so very touching to me, I was at first ready to cave in, and it occurred to me that what had been in my thoughts was very different from what she had said.

I shook my head and she shrugged, questioning with a look and on the verge of tears. She was rarely so vulnerable in life.

"I was thinking," I said, my throat tight. "I was thinking that it is very nice to see you and it is nice to have you here in a way I remember my little redhead."

And she was in my arms and I simply absorbed the sensation of it, the softness of her, the warmth and her breath on my neck.

"I know you miss this, honey," she said. "I know you do."

And she sounded almost insecure, questioning. But I knew there was no question that I missed holding her in my arms.

"I miss you, I miss you so much. I miss everything, especially just being with you," I said, stroking her hair gently, her soft and thick mane of red, her head and her nape.

She looked up and closed her eyes as she asked, "Then why do you agonize and hem and haw over me so much?" she asked me.

I kissed her forehead and took a breath. "I don't mean to," I said. "But I just didn't know what to think of all these dreams."

She held my hand and she walked with me, up to the little tiny door on the pagoda, and smiled, then opened it, pulling me into it. I did not squeeze in so much as I simply popped into a different place.

Marcie walked out in a qipao with a tray, her hair up in a rare favorite of mine, a single bun, chopsticks through it. I smiled as she lowered the tea and varied sweets onto the table I kneeled at.

"I know it's a qipao and I should wear a kimono," she said. "But you like qipaos on me."

I nodded and looked down at my own kimono and shrugged. "I like you in a kimono," she said. "I liked that kimono from Okinawa."

It had been eaten by moths in Humboldt County after I stored it away in my closet. I had been too chubby for it. I had also forgotten it.

"Thank you," I said, smiling as she poured me the tea. I felt so very comfortable.

"So there's more," she said, matter of factly. "It bothered me that you thought of me as maybe just a figment or a memory or a dream."

I nodded, "I didn't mean to hurt you."

"Pfft, you didn't hurt me," she said. "I can't be hurt. But if you keep it up, you are going to hurt yourself."

I didn't get her, really, and my mind was reeling already. I was usually almost able to predict the course of the conversation, the tone and flavor of it. Now I was distinctly out of sorts and a million things to say, to do and to think vied. But I listened instead, very gladly.

"Agonizing," she said, smiling up at me. "You always, always agonized. Everything was complicated and full of implications, nothing was ever simple. Except one thing."

I sipped my tea and carefully set it down as she sipped and smiled back. "I never had any questions about how I felt about you," I said.

She held her hand to her face and bit her lip as she spoke, looking up at me as she tailed off, "You never left any question. I could not question your love."

She came around the table and kneeled next to me, her hand sliding down my arm and into my own.

"I want you to know that I still don't have any questions about us," she said, her blue eyes, the green flecks shining as I listened. "Nothing you do will make me change how I feel towards you."

I nodded and held her hand, squeezing, and said, "I know. Thank you."

She set her tea down and took my hand in both hers, earnestly rubbing it between them. "You need to decide how you want to see my visits and just accept them, or reject them," she said. "Because no matter what I am, you will only know me now as you decide to."

I nodded and she kissed my cheek. "I am not just a memory," she said. "I am not some thing you made up in your head."

"Okay," I said, pain turning me to gasps.

"Frank," she said. "I will be here for you, but if you keep telling yourself that you're making it all up as you go along, it won't matter. But if that is what you need, then do what you need to do."

I turned and kissed her cheek, and she let go of my hand and hugged me, then slipped into my lap. We were silent, and as I slipped into a sleep within a sleep I awoke.

And I still smelled her and tasted her kiss, and for a second my critical, doubting mind was silent and my heart was light.

I have thoughts on my dream to share next time.