(a short amateur story inspired by the flowers photographed above)
We met in San Sebastian along the Bay of Biscay, it was September of 1993. He emitted souvenir scents of rave packed days and XTC pores gasping for oxygen. A season of repose and exploration had depleted his stained and worn cargo pockets of nearly every last peseta. Intensive days panhandling while squatting patiently awaiting an inbound Western Union reply from home. Had begun to reveal a temporarily strained wear over his twenty two year old vitality.
I made the assumption that in the eyes of many his charms where juvenile desperate and manipulative. I found them, gently magnetic, easily attractive and convenient.
I cleared space in my nothingness for this youthful stick of wondering flesh. Admittedly, for a moment he brought this aging heart to a flitter all for my self serving reasons. An un-proclaimed desire for emotional power ran through me. This was not about mentorship or a mythical cinematic notion of a sage American tourist offering rescue to an adventurous youth in need. A youth lost abroad after a Euro-backpack summer experience had rolled on after a few to many rave-capades. Leaving his bankroll anything but liquid with family and friends financially in a state of disownment.
I decided to move in for my thrill, comfortable with the evident temporary chance of detachment. Twenty minutes later he insisted on telling me his name, Jeremiah something, a lad from Kentucky. He spoke of his dreams and his two years at the University at Tulane and the pleasures to be had, lost in Luisiana charm. There was something genuinely sweet about the boy. Something beneath the grease and tweak. A docile moxie that stripped away seventy-six years of my own crust and jade in quick swipes and flashes.
Fear prevented me from trusting my own intimate reveal. Just as it had detoured me from embracing an innocent human connection. This time due to my own ego driven projections put upon the innocent, a youthful heart who in fact never requested of me a single favor. Not a dime, not even affection, only perspectives and references in regards to the costal area and suggestions on returning home without the assistance of family.
On a return from a recess the boy handed me a bouquet of street blooms. I tossed them harshly, through parted cafe curtains, onto the pavement below. A gesture of internal premature self defense. Over the years my own lessons in affection became entangled in crisis and resentment. I have always been aware that my discernible lack of emotional repair has never been attractive. Especially when put upon those perceived as less experienced in life or the weak. Over time I had convinced myself that I was offering affordable crash courses in defensive living. Just one of the many lies I’ve learned to convincingly live with.
Ever since that day, each time I pass a bundle of wilds laying astray, or a ragged toss uprooted by a child at play, I think of Jeremiah. I recall that September and our encounter on the shores of San Sebastian. I wonder with mixed feeling, is it to late, is it ever to late for a man who had often shielded himself with finance and protective walls of knowledge to kill all possibilities of true intimacy.
Have I laggard so, I wondered can an exploration inward in these last remaining months be at all within my seeking grasp? The one excursion I have yet to embark on is the one that requires no physical travel or fee? I’m feeling a bit waggish, now that segments of my body are fully out of function. Friends have passed and I have enjoyed all that I have had to enjoy. For the first time since the ages of two or three I feel a spark of excitement. Remembering Jeremiah, humble bouquets, the scent of the sea and elements of innocence. I have finally broken free, this is the sentimental me, I venture inward before my body sets me free. It’s never to late to be free, it is never to late, I just wish to be.
Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt