A Story About Tonight
by Seth Simons
There was a boy who looked like me and a girl who looked like you and they were trapped in some alternate dimension where love meant forest and being in love meant charging blind through fallen elm trees thorny rose bushes old pines sharp sawgrass and losing entire ribbons of skin to the jagged fingers of what lunges out to claim us sudden and wild in the cool of June. To complicate matters further, being in this dimension meant being a doe, an elk, a bull moose, a dormouse, an owl, an otter, a woman in a rain soaked dress, a man in muddied boots, a terrible notion in the mind of God, a hammer swung twice against his anvil. Meanwhile in our dimension things weren’t so great either. I had forgotten what heavy meant and went floating through the rooms of our house like a bumblebee. I became convinced I was a bumblebee. You said, No, you’re not a bumblebee, and I said Buzz-buzz! and you said Oh, well, I’ve been wrong before. You placed two trays of sugar water on the sill. I kissed flowers, seeking nectar. I kissed strangers, seeking some higher form of seeking. I found nothing and kissed it, wrapped my mouth around it, proclaimed it, told nothing to all who passed. To you. I grew six legs and two wings and went nowhere and did nothing and the air behind me buzzed and you buzzed and you buzzed with such ferocity one night the air split and rain crashed against the roof and through the roof collapsed the torn the bloody still lumbering body of a moose. Here he lies. The ceiling is gone. The moon is full. I see an owl circling above us. Away from us. What love makes of us.
There's an essay I love by a playwright I love named Will Eno, which goes: "What you need is usually right there and you just have to turn your head a little, or even less, to see it." I'm also fond of an essay by the philosopher Georg Simmel where he writes: "Coming closer to things often only shows us how far away they still are." I think these things are generally true, which I guess is why I'm quoting them. My dad took us birdwatching often and many of my treasured memories are of looking up at something else looking back down. Lately I've developed a corneal condition which makes those things harder to see. Birds are streaks across the sky, there's a certain level of dusk where everything just sort of blurs into everything else. This is a story, if it's a story about anything, about blurs, which sounds like a total accident of a word. Whoops.