By the Window

Gravel roads plea for us not to leave, their strong bodies giving way under our stronger tires, and the dust rising up like a sad procession of sad musicians, playing a remorseful tune. I am a coward, and I cant leave yet. I rewind to our first night here, where I smiled while dancing. Warm sunlight had heated the copper roof, and they excepted a sameness in my heated soles. Flushed from the wine, I pitter pattered around the roof as dew drops begin to form on my skin. Vast fields become blurred wisps, and the record’s voice drifts through opened windows. Bickering between the curtains and wind are lost under melodies. To the delight of the wind, the shy, sensitive curtains show a leg, but promptly rein back in, ensuring they do not make a prolonged appearance. With diminishing passion our sun is loosening her grip of control now, for  it is after noon, and we grow motionless. It is cool here if you’re still.

The lights remain off and the flies sleep in the shade. An old dog sleeps too, its cacophonous snores rising up like summer heat. By the window I stand, growing tired of the darkness rooted from a bright summer day. My eager soles wish do dance upon the burning tiles again, yet my tired body beseeches me. Upon the small, square table my hands rest, as I glance out the opened window at the concrete walls of my neighbors and the coils of lacy ivy on window frames. Wearing a magnificent ring of sweat, she is engaged, for my poor drink felt the heat too. Profusely she sweats, drop by drop onto the table; it is the only sound in the house that very moment, besides beating wings. I used to drive myself mad running after the silly flies, but grew tired eventually, and am now accustomed to the steady beating of their wings against the infinite surfaces that make up this home.

Humming wings sing me to sleep, and in my dreams I’m as old as the mountains. Hours later I woke, and walked to our lookout. The sky proved a perfect silhouette for the hill that night. How well it framed the pieces of grass, and the blade like frisbee basket, nesting the falling sun. With each step there remained less grass, and more watercolors. I threw myself down, not wanting to miss the show, or disturb the trees sitting behind us- their sunsets a daily ritual of lessening time as we ease into summer. One, two, three, four, five, and oh six distant mechanical asteroids. The plane tails linger in tufts, and they seem to fall like fire works held in slow motion; Dropping only millimeter per minute it so seemed. I could hear the murmur of a softball game below, or perhaps baseball, the genders I couldn’t detect quite as clearly as I had hoped. Lights flashed as far away spectators of the working world captured their surroundings in an almost harmful way.

Car lights, street lights, spotlights- there were so many lights- flicked, buzzed, and blinked. Blanketed by the wispy paint, the countless mountain peaks scattered themselves shoulder to shoulder. All of different heights and widths, but all belonging to Virginia. Virginia, the place you are inhabiting right now; The place that inhabits you. “Sic semper tyranus” the rattling flag down below reminded me: “Thus always to tyrants.” How forceful his foot was upon his chest, even in the April wind- the tyrant’s body slightly wavering. He held on, almost as tightly as I held onto my sweater in her fading daylight. Tails of planes wove an intricate pattern amongst the bed of feathers. Slowly the clouds were stretched out, encapsulating the valley of two larger mountains, the two more proximate to us. Miles and valleys between us, the interstate snaked deceitfully in my view, its tongue flickering between mountain peaks, and brush lines.

I tried to imagine the view as it should have been, without the parking lots and cheap apartments. It wasn’t a challenge though, for the mountains had taken hold of my eyes-making them blind to anything else. Before my wide eyes the clouds flicked their switches, and suddenly pink faded to purple and ever slowly to a rich blue. The mountains, once black before the red, were now blue among the blue. Night crept in and painted us all in its moonlight; making us all dark for a while. Voices from the undetermined ball game had been turned off, and the lights seemed to slow their dancing. The recital was winding down, viewers starting to sneak out to avoid the crowd. The trees still watched patiently, and were watching still when I looked back at them over my left-side mountain. I trusted them though, and knew I needed not look over my right shoulder. For the trees, the trees were always watching.

Earlier I had thought my eyes had been captured, but the trees seemed to succeed at what the peaks failed. Held in silent dust, there had been a moment of unclaimed sight, as the mountains gave back to me my vision; had let me take leave. Held under a conditional vow, the trees have taken my eyes, so that when among them again, I am drawn to their branches. Seeming to dangle our eyes down at us, each leaf is a trance- I realize the more I look, the more I see. Walking in the woods, I look deeply upon scattered brush, and brush my hands against shivering petals. For those fleeting moments I stray from the path of reality.Time wears an infinite cerement, spun by nature’s own limbs. When I must rejoin the buildings, shopping centers, neighborhoods, and rooms-when surroundings can’t be seen- this is when the trees take over.

Pleased to be lonesome and received by silence, they watch what many of us choose to leave behind. Trees, reflections upon rivers, skipping rocks on lakes, feeling soil beneath our feet: like lost treasures, these are the images I found. Trees whisper in the mountain air, taunting me to discover again. A smile shows them I have not forgotten, as my mind sails to my day of realization; to the day I felt myself, like rotting roots, give way to nature’s forces. I sensed at that moment, sitting before the trees, I had been given my sight.


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