“Oh look he’s journaling. I told you, see. I told you. You should try it.”
“Journaling will help you get all your anger out.”
“Mmm… that’s not for me… Is he? Is he smoking cannabis?”
Margaret lifted her nose and smirked. Clouds of smoke then clearly formed over the young mans head. “Looks like he is, dear. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“What if we had kids?”
“Then they would smell a skunk and everything would be fine.”
The two traded glances. Adam looking back at the ‘neighbour’. Margaret stared at Adam.
“Don’t you think journaling would help though?”
“Enough with the journaling!”
Margaret looked down at the dock boards. Adam then onto the lake.
“Did you bring peaches for desert?”
Margaret smiled, “Of course, dear.” Then stuck her tongue out.
“And maple syrup?”
“Mmm, nice, thank you.”
Then they made eye contact.
“I do appreciate this weekend with you, Margie. I love you so much. You are truly special.”
“You’re not so bad yourself, handsome.” The sunset glimmered spirits of amber in her eyes.
They kissed, adjoining. Then holding hands and looking onto the darkening lake. The suns last dancers holding their last light.
But then Adam got another whiff of the marajjawwannaa and turned to the neighbour boy.
“It’s fine Adam. Let him be.”
“This time is just about you and me. That’s all. Okay?” Margaret touched his arm.
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry,” he urged.
“It’s okay,” she smiled.
Margaret took a sip of wine then gave Adam a sip too. Secretly, she loved when he got in a little fit. Made her both laugh in spite and appreciate his ardent and mostly kind intentions. His neat brown hair and big beautiful eyebrows and eyelashes took her love, and the eyes below, her heart.
Adam took too large swigs of beer and rubbed the top of Margaret’s hand with his thumb. The week at the cottage was overdue for two years. As they’ve been renting the place five years prior. Ever since their honeymoon. Thus, the place was imprinted. The place was settling. The place was still… They liked that.
The music sooths my soul. Like the players making love to their instruments – try not to think about it. Notes though are delicate, and sometimes strong. Passionate, and weak. Different pieces to match, different pieces to match the mood. When I write the perfect sentence I depress and lighten. Doing it on the dock, in the sunlight, smoking a jay… quite the experience. And having the speaker keeps me from going too far away. That water is deep. It helps keep me on track. The same song. Over and over. Pecking away at my brain. Though the weed helps me take a road entirely different.
I feel as if my body’s a robot. Synapses and connections playing themselves through. I eat, I sleep, I interact with this world… And then there’s the me part. The stuff that seems to have nothing to do with the world at all, but is the world and everything else. Everything is everything. Everything is everything. Yet I’m in this body, on a life-ride. Nothing but particles. Dream to sleep and sleep to dream.
I want to go swimming but don’t want to. I think of myself as an alien sometimes. Looking at people… up close… you?… you think you understand me?
What… must it feel like?
Something entirely new. I imagine it feels like Christmas. Imgaine it feels like Hanukkah. First loves kiss. Baby smiles. I imagine what it would feel like. Not too bad.
A chipmunk popped on the chair beside, scaring the shit out of me. It reacted at first to my startle but returned to its sitting position, actively sniffing, looking like its mind is moving a mile a minute. Sniff, sniff, look, look. Movement? Run! It hopped off at the slightest movement from my arm. I waited. It then hopped up again. Sniff, sniff, look, stare. It tilted its head at me. Its striped fur reflecting the sun. I tilted mine back. “Uh, can I help you?” It got on all fours and began waving its tail then shaking its butt. This motherfucker squaring me up? Its claws gripped at the wood, its god damn head and face still tilting and looking at me every which way. Its whiskers wobbling like warning signals in tandem with its cheeks and teeth. He kept dancing and dancing around, not making a move. “Well? You gonna do anything?”
It hopped to my chair like magic. I jumped, ready to defend myself case the bastard attacked, but he quickly settled in a less provocative state, just sitting there. Who are you? A fascinating little animal hanging out on my chair. My hand by my crotch, my elbow on the armrest, it then walked right up my shoulder. Heavier than I thought, sharper claws too. I analyzed before I rationalized how cool it was. My spine shivered. I looked from the corner of my eye. It just sitting there like a parrot, rubbing its hands and face and such. It’s mind still rapid.
Voices, laughter, interrupted me sending a little smoke its way. I turned, still feeling its weight on my shoulder, and down near the end of the bay there looked to be people. Two of them. The woman looked pretty damn hot actually, gorgeous, perhaps. The man wasn’t bad looking himself. Could see the thick brown hair from here. Am I in a movie? They sat facing outward, talking and drinking, laughing and sometimes looking like they disagreed. Sound travels so easily on the lake.
I rolled another joint and licked and twisted her seal. The nights are even better. Midsummer, the nights are clear with the milky way. Filling your vision and every part of your body. Mary helps me get closer. Sitting on the deck – lying on the dock, floating in the water, and – looking up to see heaven. True heaven. Makes you feel like you have it where you are right now. I sat there and felt so at peace. The air was so fresh it flowed through me. The smells so pure, I need no perfume. The feeling grew as I began to float from my chair. The stars wrapped me in a blanket and dissolved my worries and my body. Peace beyond consciousness. This is it. This is where it comes from. This is what it is. This is what I am. This is where I belong. Answers given provide their own grace, though this needed no more nor no less. This cxnnectixn was all that needs to be.
Footsteps approached from below and I dropped quick back into my seat. What the hell?
I looked to the stairs and saw a man walking up them. Pretty high still, miles deep in my head, I worked my way out, twisting and turning, coming back before I had to talk to whoever this fuck was.
“Hey, hi, how are you?”
He walked forward, the porch light slowly showing his details.
“Ya, hi, uh, I’m good. I’m Jacob,” I replied. This guy know how late it was? And yes you can come on my deck.
“Hi, I’m Adam Johnston. Hi. We’re just renting a couple cottages down.”
It was that guy. Johnston? “Yea, yea, the Lowdens. Nice to meet you Adam. Here, c’mon, have a seat. Wanna beer? You sure? You sure? Yea? Okay, okay.” I sat back down, glad he said no with the shit hitting me ten times harder when I stood. “So… ya, you’re renting…?”
“The Lowdens, yes. We’ve rented it quite a bit before… become a thing. We love it. How can you not? Ha ha ha. Know what I mean?” He opened a curtain to the stars, showing me what he means.
I nodded, and god damn laughed too. “Yup, I love it too. Great to be up. Ehchem.”
“I’m assuming you’re renting as well?” he asked.
Renting? Bitch, me?
“Uh no, my… uncle owns the place. But I grew up coming here so yea, I’m familiar. It’s great… great place for kids…” It wasn’t until then I realized I still had a joint in my left hand, still lit but soon to ash. Shit. “Oh, uh, do you want some?”
He shook it down real quick. “No thanks, not for me.”
“Yea, not for everybody… Sorry about the smell.”
“It’s okay, I get it. It’s weed. Just try not to blow it too much our way.”
His smile made me feel… off. Does he get it? Is it weed? His face so honest yet his voice so elusive as if it were opaque. Lying with every syllable. I instinctively took a pull. A second into it we make eye contact and the wheels turn as he hypnotizes me, the only thing stopping it was my lungs. I coughed up a large puff and felt my throat ache chimney sweeps.
“So you here long?” I coughed, not trying to sound rude but still, what’s the deal with this guy?
“Just awhile. Won’t be too long.”
I chose to ignore that one and instead ask about the woman when he raised his hand and got up and said, “Well, I just wanted to drop by and say hi. Hello. It was nice meeting you. Remember to not smoke too much now. Ha ha ha. And remember that we’re just over there if you need anything. Feel free to stop by. Goodbye, now.”
Jesus fucking Christ, who is this guy? Him and the weed had me shitting pellets for weeks after. And just like that he disappeared into smoke, gone. Walking off like ghosts. Chills went up my spine and I shriveled. I took a hit, then another hit. Then I rolled another and had more and more and more until more didn’t matter and passed out on the couch next to the dinner table next to the kitchen next to the bedroom.
I woke up and it was peaceful. More than peaceful… just so so nice. The rough sewn pattern on the couch teased my arms and hands and left an imprint on my cheek. I was even kind enough to cover myself with a blanket, thick wool knitted. That and my socks kept my feet and legs so toasty they ached with pleasure at the slowly surging movement. Slow blinks eventually cleared the view. Dust particles and spirits travelled in air, slowing time. Sun, sky, trees, breath, water. What more do you need?
Standing up felt like I was being born again, though not as freshly or ripely born as I’ve been before. I made eggs and bacon and had a coffee on the dock. And it was the best fucking cup of coffee and bacon and eggs I’ve ever fucking had.
And then I saw her, running down their dock in her tight-stringed swimsuit, a soft smile on her face making love to the sun. The dock softly creaked and blushed beneath Margaret’s footsteps. She ran and dove fluently into the water, coming up in a breath of life. Normally just my buddy just gets a shot of blood, this I felt throughout my whole body. Woah. She was something.