cantisan (cantisan) wrote in marginalbeauty,

a short story

joe is a boy i knew i was in love with. although i had never met him, i knew him well from stumbling across a weblog of his many years ago. from commenting to emails to text messages, we had become familiar despite the distance. i spent countless nights looking up directions to his house only to place them in the trash by morning. each week, a neverending supply of crumpled paper littered the floor.

this is the story of how i finally met joe. i drove over 500 miles on impulse alone. i just hopped in the car one night and left. instead of throwing it away, i took the scribbled directions and crammed them in my pocket. after miles and miles of road i arrived. i spotted joe sitting alone on his porch as he had described doing in his weblog most nights. calmly, i parked the car a block away, walked towards the house, and this time approached the face i had gazed at for hours from so far away.

i pretended to be a stranger. he had never seen my picture before. tonight i was nothing but a passerby in the middle of the night. "mind if i join you for a cigarette?"

he paused and looked at his watch. well past three o'clock am. "have a seat" he replied without reluctance.

i looked around at the empty seats. "what happened to all your friends?" as i chose the one next to him.

"they went to sleep a while ago."

i paused, looking for a good way to continue and tried, "well maybe i can be your friend".

was it too forward? he smiled at the challenge. "you?" he asked inquisitively, taking a cigarette lodged behind his ear and effortlessly lighting it.

i smiled. "well once we get to know each other a little better."

"ok, let's go."

we smoked and resmoked cigarettes while talking for hours. it was better than i had imagined. it was as if the universe decided to align our paths perfectly for only a brief moment. we both felt the connection. i hoped it was a taste of the future.

finally i looked out towards the slowly brightening sky. at this time of night i felt like i could ask anything. "what are your dreams?"

he wrinkled his nose and squinted as he thought. it took a while before he could come up with an answer. i couldn't believe he was taking it so seriously. taking a glance askew, i saw him pondering the question at face value as if it was the first time he had truly considered it. i felt that he was trying to come up with a noble answer. seeing his sincerity made me fall in love with him again. the silence was perfect. finally, "a dry brittle leaf. jumping in a pile of them like when i was a kid. you know, it sounds silly but i'd like to do that again someday."

next thing we knew we were side by side shaking the nearest tree trunk in sight. a pile of leaves land lightly over a moonlit pile of snow.

as i see myself impossibly making a leaf angel in the dead of winter, i think of how lucky i am to see a set of miracles in one day.
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