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Coming down
I gave him my love, and that's all I can afford

By Heather-ley Peckham
February 23, 2004

I took his picture and folded his body in half and placed him in the back pocket of my blue jeans. It's been a year and several months since we've spoken to each other. He decided it was best to pay a visit back to his homeland, and we somehow lost touch after several months. I missed him very much although the split was somehow weighed in his favor.

I decided to write an inquiring letter after what was almost two years. I didn't mean for our relationship to end on such an abrupt note. I wasn't sure if he would respond, or write me back proclaiming his engagement to an Iranian woman! I feared this institution. I knew that if he were to settle in back home I would never see him again, and finally the dream would end.

Instead he replied with a comforting "not much is new, how are you?" and after a few e-mails we soon found ourselves chatting over the phone. Everything was back to normal. We just picked up right where we left off. Time seemed to have stood still those past eighteen months.

Now I am boarding the plane again to see my long lost love turned friend? Those past detoxifying months seemed to be the longest haul I had ever endured. I learned from my experience like any recovering drug addict or alcoholic, after a long drawn out sobriety period, never to venture down those roads again.

Although, this time I felt there should be no expectations, no long gazes into his eyes, no late night conversations turned early morning cuddling under the Santa Monica sunrise. I was going purely to catch up with some old friends, take a vacation away from the sweltering Florida heat, and leave my heart at home, tucked away and out of sight, sure that he would never find it again.

These lines at airports, the crowds, the lost friends alas together in a strong embrace, and family members shedding tears at the sight of each other's face. I can see the anticipation building in the eyes of the lonely ones. What reactions!

I've concluded that airport scenes are filled with such an intense charge of emotions seemingly flying from every direction. I also took into account that I was now observing through an objective eye, while simultaneously building a replica of the Great Wall of China around my heart, that would soon be cemented into place before I saw his face.

As I boarded the empty flight, I found my seat and stowed my bag overhead. I sat patiently in place as the wheels turned and the plane gained momentum, soon I would close my eyes and let the intense perpetual speed of the craft take over me, and send my body floating in 5, 4, 3, 2, ... 1.

I remember this sudden feeling of weightlessness intensified the excitement I felt before seeing Mr. Wonderful! I wondered how he might appear... Will he look different? Will he wear cloths I've never seen, or have shorter hair? I wondered if he'd gained weight, or grown a beard.

Before I could consider more intruding thoughts I got comfortable in my station and noticed I had the whole row of seats to myself. The few passengers present were quiet and far away. The sun was fading into the clouds below us, and soon I would have several quiet hours to ponder on what might become of this trip to Los Angeles.

The plane was descending into the Los Angeles area. "So soon, wow, I must have fallen asleep" , I thought. Peering out the tiny window, I became fixated on the vibrant and endless lights that twinkled below and sent dramatic charges through me! I imagined what the flight attendant would think if I jumped out of my seat and screamed! Instead I just sat there resisting my urges with my eyes glued to the dazzling view from above.

We came in for a landing. The wheels extended out, and my heart jumped a few beats as the heavy craft bounced from the earth. We pulled up to the gate, I leaped from my seat, grabbed my small suitcase from overhead, and rushed off the plane faster than a gravy train on biscuit wheels! I made my way to baggage claim to attain the more reasonable sized pieces I would need for the trip, and waited, bags aside, outside the terminal.

I took in the first view of the city from the ground that struck me as emotionally familiar. This was always the first few seconds alone, the time I took to think about would happen on this trip, and if our relationship would progress into anything further than the usual back and fourth. "Perhaps this time", was the familiar thought that accompanied the sight of this crowded and transit place.

Just moments later I felt his presence behind me. I turned to secure my intuition, and there stood a little dark man with ruby colored lips and hopelessly beautiful eyes taking in his view of me. The first few moments of the reunion were just smiles and looks, no words, and then he quietly parted his lips to say "hello", followed by the usual "long time no see".

He moved in closer, and we gently kissed each others cheeks that fell into a deep hug, suddenly the illusion of a great past sunk into my skin. The wool began to close in around my eyes and his obvious inflictions of love, like the weightlessness of airplanes, swept me off my feet. Soon I would be waking and wrapped in his embrace to rays of light dancing on my face.

I woke up the next day beside him. I turned to see his eyes closed and his face still and glowing. He had my limbs entwined in his pulling me into his dreams as he lie there sleeping. A soft blue haze bounced from his lids and kindle a metaphor "my eyes of ocean blue seem to cover you".

I was already back in love. I turned to slip away, but his grip grew tighter, as if not to let me get away this time, or ever. So, there I lie paralyzed as love began to eat away at my heart. And just when I thought I couldn't become more overpowered was when he whispered "I want to marry you, Miss Boyelyn."

Speechless as any shy southern girl would have been, I sank into myself. I felt my back heavy against the cushion beneath us. I felt like I was finally free. That I held on for so long for one driving reason, I knew we were a match. I knew that we were meant to be together, it was almost god sent. I felt it the first day we met, and now he has finally come around. A weight had been lifted and my heart no longer soaring can be put to rest. I loved this man and now we were going to be married.

I wanted to squeeze him. I wanted to hold him so tight and never let go and tell him I loved him, but I couldn't bring my arms over my head. They were too heavy, my lids grew heavy too and soon they would close. I just wanted to enjoy this freedom just for a moment, just as long as it lasted if not forever, this is what it felt to be in love and to be alive. I exhaled and my body became light.

I opened my eyes in bemusement to find myself in a strange dark place. I felt refreshed, but scattered. I made my way to a tiny window and a chime rang "We are now making our initial descent into the Los Angeles area", called a flight attendant. "Oh...Well....It was all just a dream" I said quietly.

As I glanced out the windowpane mesmerized by the millions of sparkling lights below I tried to make sense of the dream that had just come over me. In the end which I've almost always tried to avoid, I realized that prohibiting long gazes from entering my eyes, and building walls of China around the heart were the true obstacles keeping me from living.

I decided to take these moments for whatever their worth, and in the end if it shall happen between us, at least I'll know I gave it my best, I gave him my love, and that's all I can afford.

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