Song stories: Take me now

New feature alert! “Song stories” is my new category for short fiction pieces inspired by music. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. This piece is inspired by “Take Me Now” by The Cars. The lyrics are here.

Remember: This is fiction, people! Fiction! Sometimes I feel the need to point that out.

***

they don’t tell you about this part. there you are, up ahead, blurred through all the tulle, but I can see you. or i just know you’re there. step together, step together. behind me is our history and on all sides, the faces, everyone we’ve known and everyone they know. here they all are in this room and they are blurred like you are blurred but i know they’re there and i can feel them like i feel god above. slow down and breathe.

they tell you to remember this, this moment, but all i can think about is the things we’ve said and the space between us. step together, step together it grows as it shrinks. and suddenly i can’t breathe. he is not them he is not them i say it but there are no guarantees.

last night you were right in front of me and i knew you. and now here i am and there you are, getting closer and farther away at the same time and i can’t make out your features through this damn tulle and all i want is to know that it is you and the promises we’ve made….

we were kids. we made this decision but we were kids. you showed me how to rip that first match out of the packet, then flip it inside out. you put that first match between the flint and the cover, and you pull, then you light all the other matches on fire. you lit all the other matches. and one by one they melted away. i watched them melt. i smelled them burning and they were gone and all that was left were two kids with smoke in their eyes.

i’m closer now, and there you are and your eyes are filled with feeling as they should be or as they’re expected to be and i look behind you at the flowers and the cross and your god and the light coming through the stained glass settling on the altar, gleaming off the polished brass, and fifty pounds of silk tafetta trail behind me like the weight of the past, a weight we will never shed no matter how many matches you light on fire and a burden that is ours to carry until death do us part.

water under the bridge, you say, the past is the past, but the bridge is like one of those amusement park bridges – it’s tied together with rope and every time we move or breathe it trembles. thank god someone is holding me up.

how could we know? faith, they say, trust. we don’t know the rules and now all that’s left is music and the faces and it’s you and it’s me and the rest doesn’t matter. and you pick up that tulle that goddamn tulle off my face and here we are with the light through the stained glass like a prism. we are glowing and you’re finally clear and everyone and everything and today and tomorrow fade away.

take me now.

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