Currents
To River Phoenix

by

Robert Silverman

Robert Silverman

Halloween eve.

The Viper.

The place to be.

Center stage.

I'm older, but it's not age.

Self-confidence. That's it.

Still quiet. Little by little, more and more.

Soon it was buzzing.

Small.

Smoky.

Packed.

Pulsating.

Men. Women.

Dancing.

Together.

Alone.

Alone together.

Scanning.

For sex.

For mates.

For stars.

Stars? Not me. The perfect mix:

Self-confidence.

Submissiveness.

The two-way glass.

He stepped out.

Ripped jeans.

T-shirt.

Black Converses.

Cropped hair.

Adorable.

Sad.

Wise.

Childlike.

A little boy with eyes of age.

Of confidence.

Of fear.

Of loneliness.

Of me.

Eyes lost in music.

I watched.

Not anxious.

Obvious.

It works.

Our eyes met.

My smile.

Did he nod?

I looked away then back.

Caught him.

Wondrous acknowledgment.

I turned away.

No hurry.

A tricky moment.

Balance is everything.

Anxious with cool.

Love with lust.

Take with give.

I care but I don't.

I need to be needed.

I danced.

I looked at him. I ignored him.

We moved to the beat. Separately joined.

At last.

Contact.

Eyes locked for seconds. An eternity.

Why so sad?

I held back the tears.

He smiled.

We danced.

We were apart.

We were close.

No hurry.

Time slowed.

We inched closer.

His sad eyes. So sad.

They begged for help.

For peace.

For solitude.

For father.

I wanted to cry.

To reach out and hug this little boy.

He needed me. I needed him to need me.

My hands on his hips.

The music surrounded us.

A single dancer.

A single moment.

Back to back.

Barely touching.

Distantly.

Chest to chest.

He broke away.

Too much.

A tear.

His back. Still dancing.

Rejection meant nothing. Rejection meant everything.

I could help him.

Save him.

Heal myself.

From behind I took him in my arms.

Bodies close.

He barely struggled.

That sad smile.

Closer.

My strength flowed to him.

He gave in.

The little boy sank in my arms.

We hugged.

We kissed.

We danced.

We celebrated.

In an instant it ended.

They saw us.

They surrounded us.

His eyes darted.

Too late.

He ran.

They circled me.

He didn't look back.

I wanted to say, "It's okay."

He didn't look back.

I tried to follow. Blocked.

I broke free.

Checked the bathroom.

Gone.

I searched.

He needed me.

I had to find him.

Gone.

I looked and looked and left, rejoicing in my sadness.

Eyes low, I saw his converses first.

My heart leaped.

My heart sank.

His body convulsing.

Rain holding him.

Eyes closed.

Already gone.

Leaf floats to the phone.

The ambulance.

Gone.

Silent tears.

Too late.

The river flowed by.

 

 


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