29 December 2009
The Hunter's Moon
When he woke and opened his eyes that morning the uneasiness hit him with force. She would be there, in his city by nightfall. They'd never met, never spoken except for typed words on a screen. They had agreed to meet simply because she was traveling with a friend and would be within visiting distance of his home. They had become friends through mutual interests, all conversations from miles away. Short sentences providing staccato glimpses into both of their lives.
His anxiety stayed with him through the morning hours. Not the uneasiness that causes fear. No, it was that nervousness that comes with anticipation. Hoping all will fall into place effortlessly but with the dreaded "what if" hovering precariously above it all. What if she looked at his face for the first time and saw someone other than the man she'd come to know through his words. What if their communication failed them without the barrier and safety of miles. What if she was not as he had imagined her to be, less than expected, less wise, less the woman behind HER words.
He decided to leave the house for a walk through his city. He wanted to try to see places familiar to him through different eyes, her eyes. His city was an old one, steeped in history, glowing with light, woven from centuries of stories. As he walked, he hoped that she would see the the castle walls softened with warm golden light, see the importance of the old men in the park playing chess, hear the sound of the click of their game pieces carried on the warm breeze drifting in off the river. He worried that she would find him and his city buried too much in the past, not modern enough, not new.
His anxiety grew as the golden day turned to soft twilight. He paced the floors of his home, looking around at his surroundings. Well-worn and beautiful wooden floors, tall windows with views of his beloved city, color and light, space and intimacy. Would she see the books on the shelves and curiously look to see what they were. Would she notice his desk in the corner where he spent his time writing the words she read every day. Would she find ease in his environment, foreign to her.
He ran his hands through his hair thinking, this is a mistake. Everything will change. Visions of stilted conversation, uncomfortable silences, unease flew through his mind as he continued to pace. Suddenly, the sound of a car and then footsteps on the cobbled walkway to his door. He stopped pacing and felt his breathing cease for a moment, his heart pounding in tentative anticipation. A soft knock on the door and he walked to face the disquieting thoughts he'd been carrying with him all day.
As he opened the door, he noticed three things at once. Her smile, open and welcoming. Her laugh, joyous with head thrown back. He'd never heard her laugh until that moment but it was the sound of coming home. And, most importantly, over her left shoulder, the moon. A hunter's moon, big and low in the sky, carried with her from her life to his. Her gift to him, shared many times in the past across distance and time. He stepped aside to invite her in and finally, at last.....
[This is another attempt at a story based on one word "uneasiness". I had no particular person or place in mind, just the anticipation and "unease" of meeting someone for the first time. The word was, of course, provided by my poetic friend from Portugal, to whom I owe much.]
Posted by Diana Lee