Eyes on Fire
I walk up the stairs and she opens the door for me. She looks as beautiful as ever, hair up, with almond-shaped brown eyes, on fire.
“Hey babe,” she says, and she closes the door behind me, locking it with a click. I notice her olive skin, hair as black as night, wearing her one pair of blue jeans, the pair she always wears, and a plain white tee.
This is the best part, the good part, the part where I can be filled with love and hope and love. Passion.
An interesting array of her artwork fills each room, mounted on walls, propped up on desks and tables. The presence of some of it, although medieval and disturbing, stirs me to love her even more. Other pieces make little sense at all, they are clearly there to fill space. She is deep, aware on so many levels, yet shallow when the need arises, and I’ll never really understand her motivation. I ache for her soul. That is something that will never leave me.
On this day, we talk for hours. She’ll put her arms around my neck and we’ll lean up against a random wall and chat. Or, she’ll grab my hand and pull me toward some new piece she’s painted, and we’ll go over its strengths, and mostly, her reasons why it could be better.
Wisps of her black hair curl like soft and heavenly wire in the fold of her neck, and she pushes it away with a hand, gently, and never stops looking in my eyes. She’ll use words that don’t exist. She’ll pull at my heart, and she’ll touch me like one of her soft paint brushes. I feel it, knowing it’s there, but it’s just under my conscious awareness.
“I’m smotten,” she’ll say, and laugh, push me away slightly, walking backward, then stopping just in time, so I can catch her. Then we’ll kiss.
We order a pizza, and one slice in, we decide we’re tired. We lay down, holding each other, and afterward, she changes into her favorite KISS shirt.
She lays next to me, typing and swiping on her iPhone, and suddenly, through the magic of modern technology, “Lick It Up” starts blaring throughout her apartment. We both adjust our position, and turn to face one another, our never-ending conversation continuing into the long night. Again, she wipes away hair flowing down her neck away, she’s looking up at me slightly, in the moment.
“What do you think happens when we die?” she asks me.
The lamp on the table behind her becomes brighter than a sun, and her face fades again into the brilliance. It’s an indescribable light erasing her image and my eyes seek her out but never find her. At this point, it all starts to make sense, the dream, the holes, the hurt, the sadness, and the answer to her question is painfully clear.
And back: she answers the door again, and tells me she is smotten, backing away and into the gap, one more time, forever.
As I open my eyes, brought to wake by forces that I will not reveal themselves…I know.
I am here, I am in this place that is now, but nowhere. I dream of her, I keep secrets that creep, and float, and watch. I hold them away, barely, as they cling to my ceiling. In the dark, they look down on me. Seven years has been forever.
It’s black and it’s deep, deeper than I can see from where I lay. It’s zoo, it’s legion, it’s spawn.
I wait, and they wait, they see me when I am at my worst. I tempt them, daring to take my taunting right to them, begging to meet them, invoking my master, tasting fear on my tongue.
“Look me in the eye,” I plead, but I am barely brave enough to swallow that possibility.
When I sleep, I dream, and when I wake I am simply waiting for my time.
“I’m smotten,” she says, and it echoes, over and over and over.
Out my window, the light. In my room, the darkness.
Brasi Hyatt is a resident of upstate New York. He is the former managing editor of Conservationist magazine, and his band Flakjacket has toured throughout Canada and New England. His new musical collaboration is called #themashup. A debut album will be released in 2019. Now he’s writing fiction, too, because writing songs does not allow him to effectively purge his crazy ideas.