Short Stories

The Island.jpg

Alone On This Island

So, here we are, alone still. Not far from anyone, but alone all the same. Same as the last time I said, 'Goodbye'. How does one within their own mind know the difference between alone and not? Why even when with a lover do we resort to an island? A bare island, like one would imagine an island to be. Often melancholy there, alone on this island. So, why do I flock back in between the music of love and poetry? Nothing in the world tastes as sweet as music or hollows out distance as diligently as a poem so why return to this in-between on this island alone? 

When on this island the horizon soars and the quiet is unnerving. Wind strokes through the brush but finds no resolve. Moonlight illuminates the sharper rocks left in the sand, cast off the single peak. Time moves as is pleases cutting off sunsets and sleeping through the rise. I am never invited. I never have a choice. When dropped back on the island it's always confusing. After the mind catches up to the island I pause, breathe, then wait. All there ever is to do is wait. Stationary at this dock under darkness on this island alone. 

   "I love you." she breathes. With a blink relieved of my post as walls return to form. Shapes secure their purpose as I understand them and the air tastes colder. 

   "I love you." I reply slowly raising my hand at the elbow blood racing back into my fingertips. 

   "Did you fall asleep?" she smiles.

   "No" I said gently smoothing the crest of her forehead with my fingers. 

   "You thinking?" she asked now curious. 

   "Yes, I guess I was." I said.

   "What are you thinking?" she asked. "Whenever it's quiet it feels like you're thinking, do you ever try not to think and just be?"

   "Depends. Depends on what it means to be?" I replied hearing the drama in my delivery. Before she can reply I attempt to redeem myself and my failure to be normal. "However I was thinking only of this moment," I lied. "I'm happiest now and am thinking how best to embrace it"

   "Then surely you know what it means to be," she says. "Why being is thinking only of the moment isn't it?

   "I guess." I said.

   "You said it so just now." she retorted.

   "Now you know when I am quiet I am thinking only of the moment and since this is a happy one I am thinking how lucky I am to be feeling this way." I monologued. 

   "Hmm..." she grinned. "Sometimes silence makes me nervous cause when silent for too long I tend to drift and end up alone on an island." she continues with such ease to her honesty. I can't help but sink into the grey of my thunderous embarrassment now evolving into an icy dome around the in-between where I station myself on a dock on this island alone.  "Does silence sometimes make you feel alone?"

   "Depends. Depends on the root of the quiet." I answer again speaking with clear affection for the timber of my own voice. 

   "You say depends as if it answers the questions" she replies almost with a challenge in tow. 

   "Well it does. It depends on the mood and why the silence continues or dissipates. If we argue and draw silence then my thoughts will surely attempt to reconcile the dispute. If we laugh then soften I am usually most curious to tell the next joke or await yours." I continue running away with my thoughts. "If any other silence upholstered with my attention continues I figure it only to mean there is nothing monumental enough to say  rendering silence only silence simply for the lack of sound."

   "I go to an island most times." she says with no tone to match mine. "We can be laughing, crying, yelling the high heavens yet most silence I still find to be unbearably isolating" 

   "Even if you aren't alone?" I inquire.

   "Even then I still secure solace. I don't have a summer home on this island nor is it a space to collect thoughts and refresh. I don't have a choice in the traveling and never know how to prepare. It falls down as most does against gravity. The fall isn't literal. It doesn't hurt, only sinks. I only ever feel a sinking feeling like the walls around me have been replaced with a vast isolated island where never a sign shows previous human habitation." she exhales as my eyes widen. 

   "I love you." I say. With a rising inhale the outline of her body rests in focus. After a great exhale she charms again.

   "Hearing that always brings me back." she says smiling. "Hearing you say those words always shakes the globe around the island and plucks me by the collar. I love you too."

   "Maybe," I exclaim now interested and centered. "Maybe this island is where we feel we deserve to be. Alone, unhappy, insecure. Maybe you go there because you aren't praised for being happy; wanting happiness. Maybe to feel normal we have to go to an island void of love or music or poetry so we can more easily appease the others. Maybe if we are happy we should only be and let it be until it isn't. Maybe we all have an island we go to cause we all live on islands of consciousness, islands of our own thoughts. Maybe having an island is OK, and that knowing how to pull people out is what's most important. 

   "Maybe," she said. "Maybe"