I don't know why, but tonight I found myself thinking about this one perfect day. I started thinking about it, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for hours now.
So, I thought I'd write about it. Then maybe my brain will let me have some peace and quiet for a while. Maybe I'll even sleep tonight.
It was June 13th, 2004. I didn't remember the date - I had to use my blog to look it up. It's handy-dandy for things like that.
Anyway, that was a day I'll never forget. It started and it ended in Las Vegas, but that day wasn't about Las Vegas. That day wasn't even about getting up at the buttcrack of dawn (because of the time zone change) and renting a car and driving to Death Valley, simply because I'd never been there before and I thought it would be cool to go there.
It was a long drive. It was very hot even before I'd dropped below sea-level. The scenery consisted of rocks and more rocks, and weeds and more weeds. I was pretty sure, a couple of times, that I'd gotten lost, and that I'd die out there in the desert. Perhaps buzzards would eat my eyes while my heart still beat and my brain still registered pain.
But that day wasn't about rocks or weeds or about getting lost and dying, or even about buzzards eating my eyes while I screamed.
I have a pretty good memory for dates. Anniversaries, I mean. Some particularly good thing happened on a certain date, or some incredibly bad thing happened on some other date, I usually remember that date. But this time, this time I had to go look the date up. That's weird to me. Because, looking back, that's one date I'd have thought I'd have remembered, as much as, or more than, any other.
June 13th, 2004.
That's when it all started to become real for me. That's the day I realized that I was falling, but before I saw how far above the ground I still was.
I felt no fear. Instead of falling, I felt as if I was flying. Soaring.
That feeling, that fucking feeling that I had that day, I could live a million lifetimes and never come close to experiencing it again. But that's okay. Once was enough. Once was very nearly too much.
Once was, as it turned out, perfect. Because that feeling is still with me. Though I've since found myself splattered myself across a gray plain, a part of me, the important part of me, is still flying.
June 13th, 2004, was the day I saw a hint of an inkling of a chance of a possibility.
There's a picture, somewhere. I had some other tourist take a picture of me standing at the lowest point in Death Valley. I just spent a few minutes trying to find that picture. I wanted to see if the smile on my face betrayed the contrast between the depth of my body and the height of my soul.
I didn't find the picture. But that's okay. I don't really need it. All I have to do is look in the mirror, for that smile is back.
It was a perfect day. The first of many.