A walk around the lake

As I walk around the lake, crunching autumn leaves underfoot, I remember this feeling I have for her. It was a long time ago we were together. It was a different time, in a different place.

I miss this feeling when I think of her. But I don’t know who she is. We rarely say a word. The longing has tortured me, entertained me and deflated me. I thought I knew her.  How wrong I was. It is strange to feel so right and be so wrong.

I could sit and think about her for hours.  Or feel her. It is not a feeling I have felt before. It is the same feeling, regardless of where I am or where I go that sweeps across me when I think of her.

Who or what are you to me – my desired lover, my muse or my very soul reflected in this world. She haunts me like a ghost in the night – hovering above my bed or sometimes, she seems to slide under my sheets and lie beside me.

Passers by grin at me on their journey around the lake. I see kids on a school rowing trip eating sandwiches under trees in the park. City workers jog past, happy to be outside feeling fresh air against their stiff office chair backs. I want to cup this feeling in my hands and throw it out to the wind for everyone to feel how wonderful I feel when I think about her.

Minutes, hours and days have gone by, soaking up this feeling. It is an indulgence I keep to myself. My own secret garden, where I don’t need to touch or speak but I can feel her with me. Like an addiction, I succumb in private. When no-one is watching, not even me, I inhale it. I want it and I want more. I know I should resist. Can’t resist it anymore. No one is around so I open up to it and immerse myself in it. I drown myself in this feeling of her. She is part of me.

Time passes quickly thinking and feeling how she makes me feel. Is it wishful thinking or my own desire. It scares me and excites me. I feel safe and content with this feeling. It’s like a presence within and around me.

I don’t know what to do when I feel her.  I want to climb the highest mountain in the world. I could jump on bike and cycle anywhere I please. This boundless energy is wrapped in a rotunda of softness and warmth that makes me feel calm and safe.

It was short and sweet as they say, the happiest days of my life when we were together. It excited me knowing I would see her again. I dressed to impress her. Her eyes were closed.

One day when we met, my heart had arrived well before the rest of me. Not able to keep up with the speed of my desire an empty body sat slouched on the train. I could barely contain the nervousness and desire and fear in me.

I wanted to talk to her, know her and feel her. She pushed me away, said tell me later. I was too naive to know she did not want me. The reality is I never had her full attention. I should have kept on walking, but I didn’t.

My pace picks up as I dodge a puddle of water. I never imagined I would be in here today, thinking about this feeling of her.I don’t know which way to turn, too much energy to burn. And sometimes hate and anger.

I have talked and cried and whispered for hours and it still re-appears. Pages and notebooks of words, and thoughts and understanding I have written and here I am again. I have filled buckets of tears missing her.  Soaked sheets with sweat of desire imagining her body against mine. How delicate and sweet it was. I glance across the water and wonder how strange it is to again be thinking of her.

I cannot see her anywhere. I don’t know what she looks like anymore.  I never want to see her again yet I wonder when I will. If I did see her again, I would run away.

It is odd, this feeling I have about her. Sometimes a knowing smile dances across my face. Blood pulsates through all the arteries of my heart. Yet, we do not speak. Fragments of images are all I see. Can’t bring myself to look her way. Scared and nervous, I turn away. It is not how it once was between us. Perhaps it was all a dream.

Looking out across the water, at the misty city skyline, I feel her through the beat in the music. Cold air presses against my face, I continue walking around the lake.  It makes me want to dance and sing and I know not a thing about melody.

I wonder if she thinks about me too.  I turn the corner on the path, wishing to find her sitting there waiting for me with a shy grin. Her syrupy considered voice greets me with surprise and delight.

My heart races remembering the sound of her words in my ear. Syllables alone made me smile and laugh and my heart pulse. Like she was the only voice in the world, my attention was never as focused than when I listened to her.

Slowing down my pace, I kick stones into the water like a child throwing a tantrum when I don’t see her sitting on the bench. I am dreaming. She does not see me. I do not exist. d

I have cried out loud to get her out of my mind. Fallen to my knees, screaming to the black stormy clouds above to rip this feeling out of me. No response. I wait and the sobs rise up from my stomach to my chest. Waiting for an answer, for a sign.

Torrential rain soaks my shirt. Smearing mud across my face, I plead to the sky, to anyone who will listen.

‘I will do anything you ask, anything. Please get this out of me’.

But no-one comes. And no-one answers. It is still. It is silent. The once busy road is empty of cars. Tram sounds have stopped. The families and school groups have disappeared. I am alone in the rain, with a dark cloud hanging over my head and a cold chill crawling up my spine.

Opening my eyes, I am the same as I was before. And still I feel this fucking feeling of her pulsing through me – same as it ever was. The same as it first was.

The splash of ducks hitting the water brings me back to where I am. I stare at the mud on my hands and knees and see strangers staring at me. I do not care what they think.

Standing up, I fold my arms across my chest and jump a puddle on the path. Relieved and drained, I slowly continue on my way.

I come back to the sound of the beat in my ears and click my fingers to the rhythm. I wonder where she might be and if she thinks of me.

Perhaps its better like this, feeling her in my own private way. Resting here in my imagination, I am safe and pure away from harm. As I approach home, the beat fading in my ears and the sun dipping behind the houses, I feel content.

Embracing the feeling one last time, I wrap it up inside my heart and bury it away. I will not let myself feel her anymore. This is the way it is. I wonder if I will ever have this depth of feeling again and with anyone else but her. Perhaps it is all simply within me.

I am a dolphin

I feel like I have woken up, but I know I am still dreaming. Surrounded by a body of water, I look around me and realise I’m in the middle of the ocean. An ocean of water so dark blue, that in the sunlight its almost black. The water is calm and the gentle rise and fall of waves caresses my body. I am not yet sure what I am doing here. You must know I am not scared. You must know I am a dolphin. With curiosity, I jump high out of the water, eager to feel the freedom of being in the air.

I did tell you I am not scared but I have been worried. I don’t know where you are or what you think of me and what might happen.  I see you appear. I see you too are a dolphin, similar to me but different. I feel safe knowing you are with me.I thought I had lost you. You went away without telling me. I swam through the currents, calling, ‘where is she? where is my friend?’ I didn’t hear you call back. We are together jumping out of the water . White wash flows around our slick vinyl like sin. My worry has gone. You are back here with me. We each jump and dive out of the water and back in again. Smiling and calling out to each other, playing in the water. We are two separate dolphins you and I and together we are one. I see us spiral and merge into one as we dive back into the water.  Diving into the ocean, I feel energised and safe that you are with me again.

© Helen L Stevens February 2012