You ask for a story instead of a present and
I’ve fallen into remembering the moment I
knew I couldn’t live without you. We’d just
finished lunch, early on. It was fall. We were
saying goodbye on the corner of Madison and
Robin. The wind lifted your hair as you smiled.
I’ve always loved your smile. As you turned and
crossed the street, I felt something tug and ache.
I wanted to reach for you, to say with urgency —
Don’t go. Don’t ever go. But it was only after
lunch early on. So I watched you go. I’ve come
to understand that in that simple moment, I felt
the whole of our life together. On that corner,
it felt like a thumb pressing on the center of my
heart. It stopped my breathing for a second and
in that pause, I knew I had to see you again.
Through the years, I’ve felt my heart indent
that way a handful of times: carrying popcorn
into a theater and hearing you laugh, seeing
you work wet clay in the yard as yellow leaves
fall, watching you watch the moon above the
winter trees, coming home to see you drip
water from your finger into the mouth of a
broken bird. What kind of story is this?
I know you better than anyone yet
something in you makes me want to
hold you and ask, who are you now?
— Mark Nepo
"The Way Under The Way:
The Place of The Meeting"