Short Story by Sam Burks

Time Is Not An Issue

For Elizabeth

by Sam Burks

Whenever I look back on those days-the days that are transpiring right now, the ones that have always been taking place, like a long and dull story that never ends-I see how little things have changed in a decade, or maybe just half a decade. Whatever. Time has never been an issue.  I am always here. I always have been here. And so has she.

What tears are these that flow over the surface of rumbling cheeks? From hot smiles a flow of warm air, sterile with alcohol, sweeps over the arches of a back broken from the repetitive nature of circumstances, broken from the actions we have taken as the poster-children of directionless souls, who can see the world with no barriers in their dreams, but who cannot feel these things in the darkness, even though there is no logical distinction between dreams and the pitch black darkness.

What good does it do us to stretch our imaginations, but not our hands into the same vague darkness, the same one that we experience in dreams? What is the difference between night and day? Right and wrong? To be asleep and dreaming, and seeing with new eyes, and to be awake and dreaming and seeing with even newer eyes?

I sit here, like a permanent fixture, tormented and drunk, happy yet afraid, the self-righteousness in me dying in the wake of growth, even when the present circumstances seem to allow no more room to grow, unless I destroy this box where I have lived and have drawn out my insecurities as a sickly display of stick figure violence and sexual innuendos. I sit here, finally at peace with the notion that the world has died next to me, before I ever got a chance to feel it breathe.

And as always, she is sitting here next to me.With a smile that never breaks, even in times of horrible desperation. Her eyes reflect a natural beauty that never ceases to exist, even when her sanity disappears temporarily (as it will from time to time, like all of us will experience from time to time). This smile in her eyes, it smiles at me from across the room, from across a plane of stars that take over when the rest of reality fails us. We have the same eyes; not just the same kind of eyes, but the same exact pair of eyes. When she smiles, so do I. When I die inside, she dies with me. But she is always looking at me, and I am always looking at her, waiting for a cue, waiting forever perhaps. Whatever. Time is not an issue.

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You may reach Sam Burks at srburks@gmail.com.