when survival is the final conclusion no matter what
She was there and so was I. We stood before each other, nothing special about our clothing, death in our eyes, and we held hands. I could feel the pressure of her skin against mine. We didn’t walk way, just rocked from side to side, twisting and turning, as if we were back at The Palace and dancing. Sweat, or something, coated our palms and she began to slip away. I tried to say something but I couldn’t, just curled my fingers tighter around hers and held on. She continued to slip and as I lost the connection, her movements were faster. Right, left, right, left. She was thrashing – not fully turning around but shaking from side to side, wiggling. I tried to tell her that she had to stop or I would lose her; that I couldn’t hold on as long as she wasn’t helping. She stopped, for a minute, and smiled. Then the death turned to mischief and she took a step backwards. It was as if she were saying, “Catch me if you can”.
Still, she didn’t move fast. She smiled at me, a beautiful smile that I knew then that I would always remember and cherish, and she took another step backwards. She turned in a complete circle and began to dance slowly away. My arm was still outstretched but I didn’t move. I didn’t follow her; I wouldn’t let myself. I wanted her to come to me. So I stood there and as she circled away from me, I told himself that I had to follow or she’d be gone forever.
My arm stayed out and I reached harder, thinking that if maybe I could try I could stretch it enough to grab her and, once, she came back and stretched her arm out. We touched but our fingers slipped off of each other. Her smile faltered, the death came back, then the mischief, then the death, and finally determination. She twirled away but I continued to hang out, my arm out, my fingers curled as they had been when I held her hand.
I stood there for several minutes as she left. Her body grew further away but her presence grew stronger. It was as if she had transferred herself into the air and I was now breathing her. She was a part of me, a part that was leaving, and in the formation of my hand, my curled fingers, the absence of anything inside, I saw a heart with a keyhole and several holes, in which air was seeping out. I knew I had to patch the heart to keep it working but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew that the heart wouldn’t die without being patched but that it couldn’t heal either. The indecision was great. Patch it and move on, or let it bleed and suffer, when survival is the final conclusion on both things?