- Simplicio Villarreal
Wherever that may be
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
I would like to see you as what you really are - my future. That’s exactly it.
Although, there were times you were not the only one. Out of nowhere, without warning, people appeared in the most unexpected places. They appeared while I was walking, especially in the cold - the kind of cold that forced me to cover my entire body, leaving just enough room to see where I was going, but never knowing where that was.
And those-who-could-have-been sometimes crawled in unnoticed and slipped between my ears, just to remind me I never had them. But I did imagine being with them. Oh, how many times I imagined them with me...but I was wrong in only thinking of them with me and never me with them as I was constantly switching between futures.
But you, you I never had to imagine, because we used to have us. Imaginings of you are actually memories - the time we shared under the big world map (a cheap find from the dollar store) that hung at the edge of the barely surviving inflatable mattress that held us.
Where I held you.
We never went further than being in each other’s arms. We were never naked because it wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t what we were looking for in each other. What we were looking for was to have us, and we did. Do you remember how we danced? Oh, how much we used to dance, without a care and without a doubt, because you were you and I was me. It wasn’t even dancing - it was jumping, twisting and falling, screaming and howling (although we liked to think of it as singing). It was being completely honest
I think of you and I can still feel how it felt to be near the ocean, eating pineapples and digging a hole in the sand. It's not imagined. It's not a make believe reality, stitched together from other fantasies and unreachable ideals. We were really there. We got wet from the splash of the waves, high up on those rocks where the succulents grew, where we kneeled to ask them for directions.
And we ran out of gas that day - that day when thoughts of the ocean made us forget how to get there. Even the tears were real when I held your face because I couldn’t believe you were leaving. I couldn’t stop looking at you, my head up high looking down at yours, fast turning into a waterfall.
I miss how easy it was to live knowing I had you.
Sometimes I imagine myself in places I have never been, living lives I have never lived. And some of those lives are already starting to fall behind, somewhat forgotten because the deadline to jump on board came and went unnoticed. Now they remain suspended like a soaking wet cloud floating above my head, like an illusion, which is now mostly rain that falls on me constantly
Do you remember how the stars and the planets felt so close to us? Up on that hill where the wind took it as a challenge to break us? How, for one brief moment, we laid down and the planets stopped moving because the sky and its infinity spun around us? And the green flashing lanterns and the friends we made in the supermarkets (except that one time when we were asked to leave because I thought shoes were optional)? With you, it never felt like I was walking - we had no weight, for there was no sadness to drown us. And we were happy with the cold winter and a guitar and the infinity of being young. We didn’t have time to think about the future because the present never stopped giving.
We never had use for those false pretenses or expensive purchases, meant to impress. With coloured lips and missing steps, singing to the tune of our imaginations, we rescued a few coins and exchanged them for an unlabeled bottle from under a dirty counter, and we took it by the church, where the lights were bouncing and our bodies screaming
I miss you, and in an unintentional way it makes me happy to be able to say that. I miss you. I think missing stands for what we used to have. We were always drawn to being near a kitchen and rummaging through the markets in search of what to cook. Do you remember how we used to steal fruits and vegetables from the supermarket? You used to leave your yellow backpack slightly open and I would pretend that everything was normal, all while loading half of something inside and half outside. We only stole small things like onions and mangoes, not because we needed to, but because it was exciting and because we did it together.
Only the most beautiful things can be done when you are beside me.
I think of the rattling noise of your two wheeled shopping cart and it still drives me crazy. You dragged it everywhere, up and down it went like an extension of your body, especially when we were going to the beach, which was mostly every day, and every day we went. And every evening we came home. And every morning was a new possibility and every turn was the right one because you were there...except the time when you were looking up and I was looking down, my head burning because only a few hours beforehand, we were being what we always were....
Now I turn, only to find a lack of sense of everything around me, and when I lose my sense of reality, it’s you who pokes its head into my future. Whenever I drift off and I pretend to walk in the shoes I never bought, it's you whom I stumble upon. And a rush of everything I used to feel comes back, gushing up like an upside down waterfall, defying all the rules of being real. So I can’t keep all these emotions in me and I reach back. I untangle the cluster of veins that strangle my heart and reach to find yours and the moments when we reached out for each other.
I spend my night sleepless, turning the future upside down, barely understanding how this came to be my present. And when the moon retires to sleep, I ask myself, “Where exactly am I going?”
And you have told me,
and I have told you,
maybe it is in the ocean, or a farm, or an apartment in a city we have already been to. I don’t know, but I know that we both see us there,
wherever that may be.