I have always been overly sensitive about receiving overnight texts, those snippets of conversation hitting my phone randomly in the emptiness of another sleepless night spent straddling the solitary decay in a fading City of Wayne.
There was once a time when those texts were almost always transatlantic in nature. And they almost always contained some form of bad news- another friend buried. Or arrested. Or overdosed. And even when the content of the texts bouncing across an ocean contained happier tidings, there was still an invisible, underlying melancholy attached that taught me caution and stiff-lipped reserve when caught unlocking my phone after midnight.
Now, though, here in the tempestuous midst of a pandemic still raging hard… and the western forests burning uncontained… and the progressive cities protesting unabated…I find myself looking forward to receiving them.
That simple chime of a brief notification.
The whispering blink of a hushed LED pulsating in a dark room.
I look forward to them now because it is an undeniable reminder that someone out in the world is actually thinking about me. Or reading my words. Or worried enough about me to actually reach out, tangibly and on the record.
And I love them all.
Even when she happens to be accidentally drunk.
Even when she relies unsteadily on text-to-speech to transcribe her thoughts, consistently garbling them just comically enough to keep it a touch more hilarious.
There is a certain responsibility inherent with being someone’s late night texting partner. There seems to be an accompanying intimacy to the middle of the night words seldom acknowledged during daylight texting business hours.
A special sense of urgency.
A unique freedom to finally say the words unfiltered and almost out-loud.
In one of the last late-night texts she sent, it was suggested that we should simply run away together.
And I must confess that I am a dedicated fan of that particular plan.
Mostly because I have always been a devotee of movement, regardless the direction. I tend to thrive in the constant change of scenery, allowing me a refreshing current in which to redefine myself in the totality of unique experience.
The chaos of unpredictable freedom is far more interesting, and artistically satisfying, than the blandness of basic expectation. The underlying experience is more about the jump than it is the logical percentages patiently predicting the possibility of a “safe”, adult landing.
And it’s not about chasing down any romantic considerations, either, because that’s just not our scene. The silliness of complicating sexual urges belongs to the young, still burdened by the patience necessary to tolerate such open skin, pointlessly complicating, nonsense.
Still, I would like to help finger free her muse and help get her back in intimate touch with her younger self. Back to a time when the hair was unapologetically mohawked and the music was straight up in your face punk. Back when neither one of us gave a single fuck about anything and simply focused our everything on fighting the battle against the blank page.
I would go with her to any destination, at any moment that might be brave enough to give its notice.
She should burn it all down and join me on that beach down in Mexico.
We should get our asses on that plane over to Prague.
Hell, for her, I would even settle for Kansas, like she initially proposed.
(But I think maybe we should set the bar just a little bit higher than Kansas. Because, well…it’s Kansas. And I think it’s better left to Dorthy.)