Thursday, March 20, 2014
As the waters brush up against the shore, like a light kiss from an old married couple, Daniel looks on, at the gently rolling waters being rocked back an forth, much like a mother an her newborn son. An as he sits there, he fails to notice his friend James saunter over beside him.
"Hey Daniel, how are things?"
"Not bad James, not bad."
"So.." he pauses." I heard about you and Jules."
"Yeah, what did you hear." Daniel cuts in, still looking off into the distance.
"Nothing much really! Nothing much." Across the lake, upon the shores, Daniel can now see the slight outlines of cows grazing the edges of the water, picking away at the marshes of grass that blur the lines between the two opposing factions. There is a farm around here, that James nor Daniel has ever seen, apparently hidden away deep in the forest somewhere. The only evidence being the cows that parade around the surrounding lake at will.
"Have you talked to her at all lately?"
"No.. no I haven't, not since it happened."
"Oh, that is too bad. I seen her the other day actually, at Dave's, she was asking about you."
"Oh yeah." Daniels replies, trying not to show any sign of interest." What did she have to say?"
"Just how you were doing, you know, the usual stuff."
"An what did you tell her." Asks Daniel squinting, blinded, by the overlaying sun.
"I didn't tell her anything, to be honest, as this is the first time seeing you since than."
There is a part of the lake that's sanctioned off for swimming, with a dock that juts out of the shore a fair ways out into the water, which is just barely visible from Daniels standpoint. You can see the children playing, an can hear the imperceptible sounds of laughter that now seem to permeate Daniels earlobes, as if mocking him. Such innocence, such beauty, such sadness, he thinks. To know that they will look back upon this day, these years, quite fondly, wishing they could go back, while not realizing how special these fleeting moments are in which they are presently subsisting.
"Yeah." Daniels says apologetically." I haven't really been in any mood as of late."
"So she was asking about me huh! What was that about."
"I think she misses you, which is a bit strange if you ask me."
"Yeah your telling me."
"Well anyways." Says James, getting back up on his feet." I think your better off without her. I will talk to you later okay."
"Yeah, yeah of course."
Back at home, Daniel sits upon the front porch, watching the breeze gently push against the trees in a light caress. The streets are fairly empty, minus a few kids on the lawn across the way. While a litter of cars sit aside the road unused, with there windows gleaming in the midday sun. Its so peaceful, quiet, that as Daniel leans his head back he can begin to feel his eyes drift off in slumber. As the light that fractures through the wood of the front porch warms his skin in various spots throughout his body. With his eyes closed, he can hear the sounds of nature ever clearer, the chirping of songbirds sing in tune, while the chipmunks playfully speak to one another while inevitably storing nuts for the oncoming winter. Even the laughter of children that wave back and forth like the crashing of white crests upon a sandy beach.
But Daniel has never seen the ocean, never once experienced the valiant blue waters of the sea. He dreams of it, every so often, but he finds it hard to imagine something of that magnitude, that sheer size, like a locked door in which there is no key, there is just no way to know what exactly lies on the other side. Which is what Daniel fears the most, the unknown.
"Daniel." A voice whispers out, like the sounds of frogs at night near a grassy slough. As Daniel open his eyes, he see Jules standing before him, as the sun halos around her, giving her a distinct glow.
"Jules," Daniel says quite discombobulated," what are you doing here."
"I am sorry to make my presence quite unannounced, but you weren't answering my calls."
"Well there is a reason for that Jules."
"I know, I know. But I think it would be best if we talked, if I explained myself, even if its for my benefit." Still silent, Daniel now feels as though he is being tossed by the raging squall of the open sea. A small boat teetering on the edge of the unknown.
"Well would you mind if we went inside to talk." As she says this, a sigh emerges upon Daniels lips, realizing that the subsiding storm has apparently prevailed. An so he begrudgingly gets up, asking Jules to come on with him inside.
The living room is dark, with the only light breaking through the blinds of the front window. A small red linen couch sits in the near center, followed closely by a short light colored wooden table. Facing it all, is a heavy setted brick fireplace, with the television hanging over it an upon the wall. Daniel turns down the blinds, shunting the sunlight from coming in, instead turning on the tall skinny lamp to the left of the couch. Jules is the first to sit down, while Daniel offers up a drink of sorts. Even if to hold of the inevitable for a little while longer. Daniel has never been cheated on before, or had that gut wrenching pain that seems to accompany it, an so being, doesn't feel any need to relive those certain set of events after the fact. But now that Jules sits there, awaiting him, it seems ineludable, like an impending doom that hangs over ones head, making the surrounding area dull an lifeless in comparison.
"So now." Daniel says setting a coffee on the table before Jules." What was it exactly you needed to say."
"Well, its just," she pauses," I am going to start off by saying, there is no excuse for what has happened, I know that. Even if our relationship wasn't exactly headed where I initially planned, that is no reason for what I have done. But I miss you.. I know that may not be any consolation, but I want things to go back to normal, back the way they were." Jules, with her lips quivering, is trying unsuccessfully to hold it together, like a dam on the verge of disrepair, getting ready to burst.
"I am sorry!" She says, at once bursting open the quiet waters." I messed up, I was angry, I just don't think I can do this without you."
Daniel watches, as her emotions pour out before him, finding himself at a complete loss, never quite sure if he should attempt to calm her, or to let it all happen before him, as though two cars have collided, an the curious nature of mankind has kicked in.
"I am sorry, but you did cheat on me, I know I made my mistakes, I may not have been the most attentive of boyfriends, but does that give you the right? An now to turn around and suddenly care how I feel!"
"I've always cared!" She cries.
"It didn't seem that way when I came over that day."
"I know, I know." She tells me wiping away the tears that have collected upon her lower cheek." I wasn't in the best state of mind, I was just so angry at you for the day before."
"That may be, but considering that your first train of thought is to not come talk to me about it, but to jump into another mans arms." Jules sighs as I say this, while momentarily wrapping her hands around the tops of her brow. An her eyes are now filled with defeat, as though their once warm glow has passed on, like the evaporating waters of a small pond upon a bright sunny day.
"Okay Daniel, you win.. I am sorry for wasting your time today. Hopefully in due time you can forgive me, like I have forgiven you."
The sky is now covered with a thick layer of clouds, that only let in thin strands of sunlight that are freckled about onto his front yard, like the ones Jules supports upon her cheeks. Daniel stands on the patio, leaning on the post atop the stairs, watching as Jules gets into her car, eventually departing around the corner under the cover of trees. Now that Daniel has witnessed this particular side of her, he finds he now has a small lump in his heart, like the melting of snow on a warm summers day. Is this the lingering effects of the once passed love he had felt for her, or a new beginning of said emotion. Watching Jules disappear around the corner like that, has at once stamped a finality to the situation, something he thought he already had.
Living in a fairly small town, Daniel has the distinct luxury of an abundance of trails, Parks, an lakes situated varyingly around town. One of these trails he often frequents is a bit farther out than the others. Its called the chief, called so because of being located on a native preserve, an the exceeding paramount of it over the land. It is on this fine morning that he decides to meet up with his friend James for a quick spurt around this most prominent of nature preserves. Getting away from the disorders of man, an seeing nature in this way, always gives Daniel a relaxing outlook, as though to easily make such important decisions that so happen to be on his mind. When Daniel an James first met, they were just on the very cusp of high school, an the difference of perspective this has on a child can prove most difficult. Which is why they banded together so easily, as strength in numbers usually prevails. Throughout those times, they were most inseparable, like the fighting off of demons in one of their beloved video game franchises. They were outcasts, never picked for sports, or able to join in on a late night party at the popular kids houses. It wasn't until they met a group like their own that the social aspects of life began to open up to them. It wasn't exactly of the popular variety, but with that being said, it made him realize that that is just a state of mind, a thought that he doesn't want to be a part of. As things tend to happen, most of his new found friends eventually dropped off his radar, with only James being the one that prevailed. Which in turn, brought them here, at the base of the chief on such a beautiful day.
"Are you sure your ready for this?"
"Ready an willing James, ready an willing."
"Well we will see about that old man."
"I am only a year older than you, not even."
"We will see about that." The trail to the top, is not technically a trail at all, more like a minor clearing up that tends to encircle the mountain. Once you near the summit, a long rusted chain hangs from a low sloping cliff, like trying to scale a 45° incline of marble. But once over that final hump you are treated to a view unlike many other. There are no more trees, shrubs or bushes up here, just a wide clearing looking over the Pacific, an the surrounding mountains. James has always been the type of friend that doesn't nag any present concerns that Daniel may be fighting over, instead he is quite content at letting others forget their troubles, even if its for a little while. As Daniel an James trek through this troubled forest, his mind inadvertently ends up on Jules, an no matter of detesting seems to remove that fact. Just the fact of imagining her with another man, makes him feel wholly inadequate, a broken delusion, or a shattering of glass. The idea that as a man he could not accomplish as being such. Daniel has never thought of himself in such a way, a kind of cliched version of what society feels a man should be. But even with that being said, at this point, he does not feel as if he is any type of man at all. Just a emasculated husk of his once former self. But thinking of such things as this, makes him wonder if its Jules he is mad at, or himself. Or more of a combination of the two.
"So me an Abby went to the city the other day, for this night out."
"Oh yeah! Where did you guys go to?"
"We went to this little restaurant called the Murakami's grill. Its this tiny place off of second an national, great food, great service, you know.."
"Don't think I have heard of it actually, sounds pretty good though."
"So anyway, we are sitting there enjoying our meals when Abby realizes that her knife is a bit dirty. Obviously she doesn't want to use it, so we bring it up to the waiter."
"Okay, well what did the waiter say."
"He stood there for a second you know, staring at this knife like he is figuring out what to do with it. Eventually he gives off this deep sigh an tells us he his sorry about this, an that they are doing whatever they can to fix it. So the waiter wanders off you see, in to the back. Me an Abby just kind of look at each other weirded out by all this, until after a moments silence a man walks out the back with his apron in his hands, an the manager following behind. He ends up throwing the apron on the floor getting angrier every moment that passes. An get this, he asks who it was, he wanted to know what customer complained."
"Seriously, he wanted to know who it was, what was he gonna do anyway?"
"I don't know, I was wondering the same thing. But obviously Abby is freaking out about this guy, which is understandable.
They ended up taking it outside, apparently firing the guy. It was crazy, like that Monty python skit where the owner stabs himself with a knife."
"But in this case it would have been you I guess."
"Yeah.. I guess so," he laughs," I guess so."