When you enter a room. When you enter a room I listen sharper and hear things, see things, feel things I’ve never noticed before. When you enter a room there is a sound, it rings in my ear with sweetness, and my feet, so often clumsy in their efforts, become solid trunks embedding me into the ground. I feel things when you enter a room that shouldn’t even be allowed to be felt because they are far too glorious--little tingles up my spine like champagne in flutes--little stretches in my heart creating such soft and subtle pain like “Ouch” but also “Ouuuh.”
I like to create memories in my brain of you entering every room I am in. I create them and then re-live them. You enter. A beat. I see you--and then I play it over again. You enter. A beat. I see you. A beat. You enter. A beat. I see you. A beat. You enter. A beat. I see you. A beat, etc.
I’ve never gotten past that. I don’t know what happens next. After you’ve entered. I’ve seen the entrance a thousand times and its effect has yet to ware or bore me. I want to know what happens next--I do--but how can I? I’ve only ever seen you enter.
I try to imagine what it would be like if somehow, in some magical room, on some mystical day, the sun shone in such a way as to motivate you to the shady side of the room where I stand. You enter into my space. Another entrance--that I can do. Okay, then what? Then you… speak? Or do I speak? What would I say? After all these years of entrances--me watching you in silence, dreaming only ever of you--and you? You have probably never even seen me, hiding as I have been in the shadows. And so, what then could I say?
My heart longs sometimes to say things, give you a reason to cross the room, to notice me. I think there are things you might find good in me, if only- if only I could get you across the room. So, then, what do I say?
“When you enter a room,” I say, “I feel things.”
You stare at me like you think I’m crazy. *Crickets chirp* You don’t understand me. You pretend you didn’t hear me. So, I repeat it frantic like a malfunctioning robot.
Suddenly, you disappear and fade away.
I wait and press re-play.
Sure enough, you enter again. The sun shines bright, just so, and you cross and I catch your glance in mine. We smile. I don’t speak. I won’t speak. I don’t speak. The clouds outside cross again in front of the sun. You walk away.
I wait and then again re-play: You walk into the room. The sun shines bright, just so--you cross--we smile. I say, “Hello.”
“Hi,” you say.
You spoke to me.
When you speak to me. When you speak to me my toes curl as if trying to keep me on the ground because you cause my head to spin until I get the dizzies and feel at any moment I may fall down. When you speak to me I feel things, see things, hear things--these little bells ringing in my ear, like heaven, like the very best thing you’ve ever experienced--champagne bubbles down my spine. When you speak to me…
*I hit repeat
*I hit repeat
*I hit repeat
This little fantasy of mine should not be so fulfilling, so satisfying. I almost needn’t dare the pain of actually engaging. I could play this over and over again, getting a little further each year--by my deathbed we’d have had our first date. And isn’t that a glorious note to end on? Just before the pain, before the lying, cheating, bleeding, crying, drinking, hating, death? Just a slow crescendo, ending as it seems our lives are at the start.
When you enter a room.