Friday, August 22, 2008

Memories of Ingrid

You know how this goes. You read a post by someone you know. They in turn, cite a post by someone else. Who in turn sends you to yet another post that's simply too intriguing not to respond to. That ever happen to you? Sure it does. Just happened to me too. My dear friend Tiff of the venerable No Accent Yet mentioned a post by Neil at Citizen of the Month who in turn sent me off to see Ingrid at Ice Cream is Nice Cream. And at the end of this Googleiciuos trail of bloggery, I found a post entitled "Made Up Memories". "WTF?", you ask. Well, Ingrid explains it like this.
"Post a fictional memory of you and me. Anything you like, but it has to be fake."

Not too tall an order since any "memory" I'd have of Ingrid would be fictitious by definition. But how best to approach it? What form should this take? Enter Justin Hayward, stage left, with inspiration in the form of the lyric, "letters I've written, never meaning to send." Aha! A letter! Most just left a "remember when" comment (some of which were quite entertaining). And initially my letter was to have taken up residence there as well. But if you've known me for more than 5 minutes, you know that once I warm to a topic it's not so easy to shut me up (you're reading Exhibit A). And in weaving this "memory", I angered the Haloscan gods with a comment too long for their puny widget to handle. Bah! Somehow splitting the story up across multiple comments broke the mood, so instead I decided I'd take a page from Neil's playbook and turn it into a post of my own and link to it in my comment. Take that Haloscan! And so, submitted for your consideration (and Ingrid's I hope) I give you...


My Dearest Ingrid,

Even now I find myself staring at the night sky, wondering if you're looking at the same stars wherever you are. If you've finally realized the dream you spoke of when we met, perhaps you're not. The stars are different in the Southern Hemisphere. Did you make it there? Will I ever know?

Are the oceans in South America different from the one that brought us together? Do you ever wander back to those few precious days we spent making Atlantic Beach our own? I do. It's a rare day when I don't recall the first time I saw you, alone on the sand, your face lifted to the sun as the foam washed across your feet. I still picture, with vivid clarity the serene joy on your face as if you were listening to some favorite, bittersweet song. In my mind I can even see your lips move as if you were singing along with it. But from this distance, it's impossible to hear the words.

I can't say how long I stood there watching. I felt embarrassed at this flagrant voyeurism, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from you. And then came the wave just a little larger, a touch more powerful than its predecessors. It crashed into the one receding from the shore and their combined mass and force sent sea water fountaining into the air. Your eyes still closed against the sun, the water caught you unaware when it cascaded down on you and I couldn't suppress my laugh as you started, shrieking first in alarm, then in delight.

You noticed me standing there then, and cocked your head in an unspoken question. You seemed oblivious to the way your wet clothing clung to your body, and my laughter redoubled as you tried to blow a lock of pasted down hair from your forehead. I was sure that you had never looked more beautiful than you did at that very moment.

Still fighting the urge to burst into uncontrolled laughter, I stripped the towel from around my neck and made to offer it to you. It was only a few yards, but the loose surface of the beach shifted under my feet in my last step. I recovered with all the grace of a charging rhinocerous, stumbling and landing both of us in the soft sand. And I gazed red-faced into your mirthful hazel eyes, and sank into the symphony of the purest laugh my soul had ever heard.

"You certainly know how to sweep a girl off her feet don't you?"

Ingrid, those words have echoed in the dusty attic I call a mind ever since that day. How we came to be in that place at the same time only Providence knows. That after only three far too short days our paths diverged in the yellow wood is too callous a turn for even the most malevolent universe to devise. But no agent of fate, no matter how foul, no matter how cruel, can long withstand that natural tendency of all things towards equilibrium. Thus I know, in the places where my most sacred knowledge is kept, that those paths will cross again.

Until that day, my Sweet Ingrid, keep yourself safe, and know that the hand you feel on your shoulder when you need it most is mine.

Eternally,
J

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5 comments:

ingrid said...

The haloscan gods were unfair. Especially after such a fabulous epistle.

I am indeed swept off my feet. :)

What a darlin'

tiff said...

Dude,

You a ROMANCE writer or something? This is excellent. What fun, and well done.

quilldancer.com said...

Oh my goodness! sigh To be the lady you write love letters to .... swoon

Mojo said...

Ah Ingrid... I may never look at Atlantic Beach in the same way again. (I'm oging to a conference there in October, I'll let you know.)

Quilly, wasn't it you that was only yesterday frightened by me image by candlelight? Too frightened to blow out the candle, but wanting to light 100 more? (Or was that your version of leaving the lights on?)

Ah to have someone to write such pretty words to... In the words of my hero and role model:
"Now and then I may grow tender, walking alone in the cool blue of evening. And I follow with my eyes where some boy, with a girl upon his arm, passes a patch of silver. And I wish, somehow, I had a woman too. Walking with little steps under the moon, and holding my arm so. And then I dream... and I forget...

And then I see the shadow of my profile on the wall."

quilldancer.com said...

If you're writing love letters -- from far, far away -- I wouldn't have to look at you now would I?

Besides, you just made me laugh out loud so you can't really be all that creepy.