You and I had a past life together. Do you remember? Saying it like this reminds me of Hoffman always going on about our shared incarnations; how incredible they were that beyond all odds we found each other again and again, and how supreme those lives were! It may be true this is always the feeling when looking back, and though this current life feels so average, in the future I’m certain we will miss it. How did we get so lucky to experience such perfection in our lifetime? I think I remember. Can’t you? It came as a miracle epiphany one day to just forsake everything and pursue what I knew in my heart was true. It was as if my whole life rested on tracks and I had always known taking just one step to the right off that cart that life would open up before me. Looking back on it now I cannot confidently say what held me to the floor. Though it seemed like nothing, taking that first step was akin to making the dead come back to life; it was that impossible!
You must remember! When I left the country for some third-world jungle you followed after me because in that moment you saw something had started in me, and as the chain of dominoes came tumbling you threw yourself in its path. I was very moved by that action.
There wasn’t much money in it, not by today’s standards at all, but in a third-world we found things more valuable. Men would come from all the neighboring villages to set up camp with us, and it wasn’t long before our native country caught the news and we became famous there too; if only we had a TV to see it! But we simply weren’t concerned with things like that. We had done the impossible: our lives had been going in one direction and we changed it. It was as if God himself reached into our timelines and took us each by the hand, then every moment felt like the right moment and there were no regrets or longing for the past. The present had become too bright for us and nostalgia lost its taste.
There was a little money in it to be sure. We came back to the states temporarily for celebrity appearances. We even had Jennifer Lawrence try on the famed belt we had made and she had to drape it over her torso like a Miss-America sash so it could fit. There was a time, briefly, when even I enjoyed the spotlight and the nation recognized something in me that was distinct from all the other on-screen personalities. Somehow when I spoke they were all the right words, even my body language articulated in great volume and made everyone else just seem like pretenders; then they all loved us. But when I returned to our straw hut and got to feel the cool dirt-floor beneath my feet, a smile I cannot imitate anywhere else found me. And my cat, which was actually a tiger, would make funny mewing sounds while pawing at the shoes hanging on our wall.
You must remember now! Victoria had been training to be a veterinarian back in America. She was small with dirty-blonde hair and had eyes that searched for amazement. Somehow out of billions upon billions of people she wanted to be a part of our life. Even though she always said it was my cat that had attracted her, you guys fell into a deep love. That might have been the best part. You were so painfully lonely before her.
Sometimes in the quiet evenings the locals would brew us a natural tea. Though the sky wasn’t completely dark many stars were still visible because there was no light pollution. I would sit outside listening to the rising chorus of jungle grasshoppers while reading the bible. I’d hear you tap the chalkboard as you spelled out tomorrow’s next verse while joking with Victoria; who stood over her desk searching her notes and filling the syringes by lamplight as my cat stalked the moths attracted to her flame.
Please don’t feel bad if you can’t remember any of it; it’s not like the reality of this disappears. You and I, we were there, this really happened, whether or not it’s known to you. You’ll just have to read this as if it’s some enchanting story, while I reminisce with tears in my eyes for both of us the life we might’ve had.
Copyright 2015 Jason S Cooper Image From kucuu.com