making dew (Gabriola Island, BC; July 15 2013)

by totalcontrivance

Island: looking at stars.

First shooting star, falling, leaves a streak of gratitude, and it trails.

To be reminded of her infinite smallness—of its infinity—only opens up a thousand avenues for thought and wonder. She imagines a cosmic puppeteer; a giant—perhaps divine—chess player. Somebody must be playing.

Tonight, before she falls asleep, she will see her body from above (out-of-body), and it will be electric with colour; each limb neon, dissonant, vibrant.


These days she rarely feels euphoric. She used to feel it, only to have it quickly replaced with devastation, despair, deepening sorrow and fear, but this year, what with all the changes and perhaps a dull depression, she’s felt euphoric but rarely. Tonight when she gazed up at that sky bespeckled and glistening

(like dew, like memory – just like Pepper’s story of how dew reminds him of sleeping out in the grass after a night of partying and waking to the sound of his father’s truck; jumping up only to leave a perfect imprint of his body in the grass, a telltale sign of grass-made bed that his father must have noted but ignored. Or just like Roberto Bolaño’s passage, the one about the drop of dew on the lawn by the quad as the Archimboldi scholar passes, that drops not only in slow motion but also in reverse, iridescent, ominous, so beautiful. Maybe that’s not how the dew dropped at all, but it doesn’t matter, because that’s how she remembers reading it)

she felt an old sense of euphoria, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude. She cried openly, letting the tears slide past temples and into her ears (as her face tilted up to the sky). How lucky am I to see such beauty, she wondered. There is no breath. And yet it is all breath, breath is all there is. A crystallized breath that sweeps past and takes with it all we have built, renders it all unnecessary, turns it all to dust, doesn’t it?


She’d like to write a love letter but she is afraid it would appear insincere. Don’t they all, in love letters? Or does her idealism win over: do the letters translate? Can they possibly do the thing justice? Can they possibly lay her bare on the page?

Well, if she were to write one, she might admit (in all honesty) that she never flossed her teeth until you were hers. Now she cannot sleep if she doesn’t floss them. Little white thread run between molars, run into gum. Gum and bone and thread and you. So you’re in her teeth now, up in the roots, whatever makes them strong is you. Strong teeth; you’ve kissed them. She’d make you a necklace of them, if she didn’t need them so very much. String them along that thread of floss for promise, for lasting.

She writes,

“Thank you (though I can never thank you)

for seeing me.

For ochi.

For dance and blink and

touch and pretending you never tried to kiss me.

It was raining when you left. We had been sitting on the couch – you sat on the couch, I sat on you – and the rain was beside us, on the other side of the wall. I covered your ears and told you to listen to the rain. You laughed and explained again that I shouldn’t try talking to you while covering your ears. I get that; it does seem counterproductive. The facts are: I love the feel of your ears, and I love talking to you, and so I do both quite often. Thus, it’s inevitable that the two should happen simultaneously once in a while. Once in a while. Once, while the other, both are done, rendering each meaningless, but just as sincere.”

What do you think? Do the words come through, though muted? She swears it’s all real, not contrived or theatrical. It’s just the everyday, after all. She struggles to express through the written word that which doesn’t require a narrative, that which needs no embellishment. She’ll try harder. She’ll make do. For the real is all she has. You know the real is you.