Peter, Bjorn & John – It Don’t Move Me (Miike Snow Remix)*
“So, it’s been three years since we’ve last seen you?”
I nod but he’s not looking.
“Uh, yeah. It’s been awhile.”
He glances over and smiles this impish smile, ears sticking out all over the place and his hair falling in his eyes. He doesn’t look like a doctor, I think. He looks like a mythical creature you might catch glimpses of sneaking through the snow. He looks like what I imagined Mr. Tumnus to look like before Disney ruined everything with their bad casting.
“So, I’ll take those.” He reaches over and slides my glasses off my nose. The room blurs and I blink excessively like that might help. I’m sure I’m going blind.
Then it’s a series of lights in my eyes and “which one’s sharper 1 or 2?” and “read this line, can you read this one?” and hands on my face, drops in my eyes, and forehead against cold plastic staring into a lens:
“Can you lift your eyebrows? Your eye lashes are too long, they are just too long.”
I leave with pupils the size of black dimes.
The world is a Christmas tree. The lights blur into each other and my optic nerve embraces everything. Devours everything. I blink into the face of the city and try to take pictures with my cellphone but I can’t see the buttons. I want to capture it, the weightlessness of it all, the sheer joy for living. I would bottle it and send it to you. All of you. The night and the music pounding in my ears and all the strangers I give out smiles to like Jesus-pamphlets. I love you. I want to tell them. I love you in your sweat stains and your fur hats and your pock-marked faces. I love you for all the mistakes you are about to make and then keep in calcium deposits underneath your skin. I want to be in your front pocket where a handkerchief might lie. I want to soak up your tears and rest soft against calloused hands. I want to be folded up and used again.
I walk past the addictions center and trail my hand against the painted stone wall. I trace numbers in the sky before my eyes. I hold stares with the stragglers out front who rub their hands together in the cold air. I want to give them everything. All of me. I want to be ground up and snorted through their nose when they fall off the wagon again. I want to be skin and needles and need. Blood and fire and fuel. I love you. I want to tell them. I love you for falling and getting back up every single time. I want to fall with you. I want to hold your hand as we struggle to sit up.
I want to want so much it turns me inside out and exposes my flayed red muscle to the elements.
The library and the bus stop out front. People shrugged down into parkas and wrapped up in wool. I want to unwrap them carefully, ribbons and all, save the paper. Who are you? Where are we? Hands through the bubbles. You look lonely like you’re missing everything. Everyone. My pupils are black holes sucking in their existence like stars and never getting full.
I am heart pumping, blood rushing, skin tingling, pulsating outside my body. I am the sound system in the car that just passed. I am the bass rumbling under our feet. There is sound everywhere, in the lights and the crunch of snow and slide of ice. The breath that puffs out of mouths and hangs in the air. The cars that woosh past us without pause. The buses that grind to a stop and let them climb aboard. I wish I was that bus. Climb on. I’ll take you wherever you need to go. I’ll be warm and I’ll stop for you. This is life and the city and the people. This is love and I am the music.
*There are better videos of this song that don’t cut out at the end but I like the lights in this one.