something surreal. 10.19.2005
In my dream, we were folding paper airplanes – seated cross-legged across each other, scraps of used bond paper scattered all over the low table between us.
There was sand underneath our ankles; the sun was high and the clouds were cirrus, like plastered feathers on the sky.
"What do we do?" I asked, leaning over to look under her hands.
Her fingertips were tight over her piece of paper. "We’re making airplanes," she shrugged. "Like this."
I folded mine in half; my father was a pilot, once. He’d taken me to a couple of hangars and airports, where island jets and helicopters stood beneath old parachutes-turned-aircraft blankets of sorts.
But none of them were anywhere near this makeshift airport atop the low table between she and I.
One time, I caught her humming from across me, some odd tune I was sure she had made up herself, over our little airport. From under my fingers I could see strange shapes taking form.
"That’s not an airplane at all," she kidded me, somewhere in between.
I pouted, "’Course it is." And I ran the tip of my fingernail deliberately over an edge to make a crease. I thought, maybe paper airplanes were also a matter of personal judgment? Like most things.
I held it up, she forced a smile. "See?" I just said, trying hard to look confident. Powder-soft sand burned slightly from underneath my right ankle.
It wasn’t anywhere near an airplane, I knew; I had its corners and edges wrong. Sitting beside her perfect miniature paper aircrafts, they looked oddly like disfigured birds.
Our love was a lot like that, perhaps. Misplaced little things sitting beside each other.
"It’s still not a plane," she insisted, crossing her arms.
I forced a grin, thumbing one of my plane’s disproportionate edge, albeit a bit sad. "Well, it has a wing," I just said.
That’s me, always mistaking parts for the whole.
Before we knew it, the sand beneath us was already cooler than earlier, and the sun had somewhat dimmed. It was nearing dusk.
On the low table before us, paper aircrafts and disfigured birds laid side by side, trying their best to fit in.
She bent her aircraft over, pinning it against the table, perfectly symmetrical. "You should meet him, you know."
"Him who?" I asked, a brow arched.
"The lover after you," she just said quietly.
Ah, yes. Him. "Does he even know me?" I just asked, shrugging off how the words had hit me.
"He’s been asking about you."
A pause. "What did you tell him then?" I bent my disfigured paper bird over, making the crease a bit too early than was necessary. Boys and their lesbian fantasies concerning their current girlfriends and their former girl-lovers.
"That you were beautiful."
I stopped in mid-crease. Amazing how very much arresting it still was, after all these years, just hearing her say that. It was always as if she meant it – every time.
I laughed. "Careful there," I just said, shaking my head. "Guy just might abandon ship."
She put a hand lightly over mine, laughing herself. "I think he’d like you," she just said. "I think you would get along just fine."
I had nothing more to say, so I continued making the crease with my fingertip.
Later, as we stand up and move on along, I would run a finger through the sand. I’d wake up and feel a sting.
These damned paper cuts, I hissed to myself. You don’t quite find out they’re there until something happens and they start hurting. #