Suspending Disbelief

As the last one hundred breaths steal in and out of her heavy lungs she stretches to remember the warm sun on her face. The echo of it still brings a smile to the very sides of her paralyzed, once passionate lips.  As life grew less mysterious and more physically arduous she thinks about love and how it ages. It starts like morning, full of words and walks and slowly unfolds into evening, quiet with long gazes and the briefest touch before a dream. There was love just as there were days, uncountable then. Even in the last few she smiles about the day she picked up her old friend with a new love.

She bought a lotto ticket. Sitting on the porch in the back with her lover, after ten years of abstinence, she took from his pack of cigarettes. The death of their dreams had brought them to a shared place on the road to nowhere and for a brief moment the sound of laughter gave way to an illusion of simplicity and life felt light. Unuttered words of love hung in the air, carefully left there to disperse over them both slowly, like a billowing, expanding ring of smoke. In this way they could both feel all of it together as only the wisdom of aging had taught them. Guarding the moment, they cautiously avoided the conversation looming like cancer threatening to steal time. Neither of them could afford the luxury of love.

As they parted, using the same songs written by countless broken hearts, the evening gave way to a dark, rainy night. Squandered minutes would begin to grow like the distance between them as they walked away from each other. Later, with more of time’s teachings, they would learn which currency had been most valuable.