By Christopher Wink | June 15, 2007
She was named after the fourth month. Not for when she was born, but of a time of warmth and beginnings for her parents who thought both had now since died. Interestingly, it was her name’s temporal successor – a month that, among other things, signaled the annual return from school of the boy she loved – that was always her favorite. It is in this way that April was always waiting for May.
She was young and he was everything to her. He was strange and, anyone would say, had no business being everything to anyone, most certainly not to her. Perhaps there is irresponsibility in truth. Of course there is. There is nothing less interested in hurt feelings. But truth hadn’t the power to stop what youth can feel for slightly older youth. So, he remained what she wanted most of all.
Time rode on swift wings.
Her past conflicted with his present almost as much as her future conflicted with his fear of thinking about having one. Oh, and how she had a future, sketched and drawn and painted and framed. That is how she first became tangled in her own dreams, caught on an idea of having him and everything else there is to be had. The way that young people understand six billion years of geologic evolution to be the prologue to their own existence. Just because.
But none of that mattered in May, just how things never matter but what fits into our dreams.
They would lie out in a field in those frigid summer nights. It was as if they were staking out the moon. They on the grass, it busy somewhere under cover of clouds. It was quiet and time consuming and wonderful. They waited to find either that moon or some reason to stop trying. Neither conclusion presented itself, so they fell timidly asleep, she first, he next, for a time, between when he forgot to stay awake and when the itchiness of ants and gnats and grass and time reminded him that it wasn’t to be anything more than an ill-conceived attempt at poetry in sleepy practice.
She is gone now, of course. She learned soon enough that he was an element of her dreams not so hard to dispense. It is how his car won’t start, his headaches won’t stop and how no music is good anymore. He dreamed once, like all of us. Now he knew this would be as far as he would ever go, that town there, during the summer, in those fields. It was lost, all lost. Lost with coffee grinds and the residue of picked-over fruit salad.
The only quality that truth is more than irresponsible is determined. If it doesn’t get you on the first round, it will be back. It most certainly got him on the second. He knew it was coming. Young love is insatiable, inexorable and fleeting. He had the first two, and then muddled in the back end of the last.
He got a little older, and so did she, and summers took on very different meanings. It was what he had always feared, a time when April no longer waits for May.