In The Beginning

Entry by: Godai41

15th May 2015
The End of the Beginning

I may not convince her, Jourer told himself but at least I’ll begin, he told himself: a beginning will suffice, he assured himself, at his trek commenced. Knowing the contours ahead, the likely jams, detours, and closings of some pathways a beginning connotes, he dared to say out loud, hope, even success. Yes, he would try. Try.

After all, time and experience will help. For sure, he reminded his hopeful self, if he knew anyone, he knew her well. From the very beginning, yes, even in the beginning itself, his first minutes, days, and weeks of existence, she and he shared the rhythms, scales, and melodies of the day, the virile upbeat and solemn downbeat of the music they lived.

Early on he had sensed, even perhaps before he could utter what he had sensed, the import and impact of what she had already experienced made their way into his cells and nerves. Even before he could, if ever, grasp, comprehend, the precise effects of her then closest life companion, her slightly older brother, prematurely leaving the earth; of her own departure from any and all schooling after the brief but joyous delving into reading books, books, and even more books for the scant nine years permitted her; and finally of the perceived if not real threat encountered on a nearly deserted underground line as she trekked home from work late one evening from that department store clerk survival job. He had sensed, even absorbed, it all into his tissues.

Replete with this extensive knowledge and, yes, even understanding, he allowed himself to name it, on the brief bus journey to where she now alone resided he slightly reviewed what might ensue. She would briefly quiz him on his own doings to make sure, of course, he lived safely, even cautiously. He would ask her about her own goings on: her friends, her modes of relaxing, and so on. Was she still doing Mah Jongg? If so, who were her regular players?

The bus trip exceeded his expectations and arrived at his destination on time. Still, he ruminated, I’ve prepared myself well enough. A short walk along the highway the bus followed and he had arrived. Yes, it will work, maybe not today, but it will work he excitedly, nervously, told himself. The plan he had for her he had planted on solid turf.

For only two years—he didn’t want to postpone the start for any longer—each week he had deposited the loving dollars he would supply for the venture. He had accumulated enough for the voyage to begin. After it commenced, he could steadily, regularly, keep contributing the amounts that would suffice for the voyage to mature and reach completion. This morning he would tell her, who still had no knowledge of the exploration she would soon begin, where she would wander, delve, explore. Back to school she would return: to read, write, share the joys of ideas from which her earlier existence had exiled her.

He greeted her. They rarely kissed, perhaps since the earliest days had removed that ritual from their visceral but intangible sharing of feelings.

Somehow she seemed especially quiet, taciturn this morning. Perhaps she had been ruminating on her earlier existence, sharing it with those nearby.

Jourer saw no reason to wait. Begin now, he decided. In the beginning has arrived. He spoke, revealed, shared the plan he had, indeed, nurtured for her.

Now she starts to call in the super subversive skills for which everybody and especially he knows her. She starts to rant. “I can’t. I won’t. The time has passed, come and gone. In the beginning has gone, usurped by the past.” “Faulkner erred,” she asserts. “The past has died. Its flowers have wilted, its solidity crushed into small pieces of mud. The past has passed.”

Her super smart ability to sniff out when someone wants her to do something for herself leaps up. “I know you’re here to love me and free me and push me and help me to do something I want to do. I know; I really know. And I know how you want to give me some help and even money and hope and everything to let me do something you feel I want to do. I know.” That’s how she talks to somebody she loves, and Jourer is one of those. It’s too late, she trumps.

Jourer has prepared for this, readied himself. Out loud he reads the poem he wrote for her just to counter her “no.” He knows not to oppose her. The poem speaks out what she has just uttered so that she can know, through her best friend, Reading, the wrongness of her denial.

He reads out loud the poem he has carefully built for this moment he knew would surely come.

Root Shadows

Now, looking at my branches
half-a-lifetime old, I see
they stretch no farther than
my roots, and strangely
resemble those coarse extended
tubes. No matter where I reach,
the roots look up and
throw a shadow on my arms
I cannot pierce or push
away, and though my limbs cast
large shadows of their own
on mossy ground and city
site, still the space I stretch
my roots decide--small, round orb,
tiny circle, from in which I
cannot hide.

He sits down next to her, but does not touch her. She needs her Rilkean solitude now. He resides quietly, even unmovingly, next to her, allowing her to ponder, reflect, prepare to decide. It may not, probably will not, happen today.

He will return another day to continue this beginning. She needs and has time to decide.

Time to leave now. Jourer quietly begins to depart but first deposits a flower, a taste of her favorite food not easily available in the area she inhabits, and a book, a collection of Jay Parini’s poems, for her to read. He places them next to her. She still loves books.

Slowly he takes his departing steps. Once or twice he looks back to catch one last look, to throw a kiss her way.

He has almost arrived at the bus stop, the one those familiar with the site call the cemetery stop, the closest stop to the cemetery. The driver herself doesn’t know the colloquial name its riders have given it. She knows only the number of the bus she drives.

For now the beginning has ended.