“Frozen Time Melted by Desert Sun” by Meira Bienstock, Indiana

Love and Heartbreak August 17, 2011 13:46



It was one of those moments where every detail in your past suddenly made sense and you realized that it was all just one big addiction of never letting go of the people who once came into your life and loved you then left you with a shredded heart, your own blood to swallow because you’re biting at your tongue so hard, and a hollow deadness when you realize this is exactly how life works. People meet you on an airplane and you share all your dreams with them, all your faults, all your ambitions, all your past love stories, telling them about your family, your hobbies-and it was as if it was a sign from God that you were supposed to sit down next to that person. And then the two or seven or twelve hours are up and they leave without saying goodbye because they are too busy attempting to get their suitcase. Maybe people push them because it’s crowded and they grow agitated because they just want to get to their final destination.

It’s a flash back to age twenty-one where I’m laying next to my South African boyfriend. We were living in Jerusalem at the time and it was Shabbt so it was dead silent for such a busy loud city. It was around two o’clock in the afternoon, with the desert sun streaming in. And there we were, completely naked and curled up together. Not one of those awkward naked moments, but the kind where you just found your other half and the two of you feel so connected, flesh doesn’t even exist anymore. We had the Clint Mansell song, “Stay with me,” playing on repeat. And in that one moment, with the sun shining into our room and filling us with a warm desert pleasant heat, his beautiful green eyes closed pleasantly, his body wrapped so perfectly around me though he’s barely awake yet still holding me tight, and that beautiful serene music playing-it was as though time was frozen and nothing in this world was moving.

We had frozen time and vowed with our hearts to be together forever even though I was moving back to America and we’d be separated for a full year. At that moment, after staring at his every detail, I went to the corner of the bed, curled my legs up, wrapped my nakedness around me, and just cried. One of those cries where it burns your throat and the tears are real hot. As I watched him through the mess in my eyes, he became perfect and the only thing I knew would make me truly happy for the rest of my life. But I knew it was time for me to get on an airplane the next day and knew this was it over because nothing ever lasts. A frozen time always melts in the Israeli sun. He woke up to hear me crying and came over smoothly, in one movement. He just looked at me with his big green beautiful eyes and wiped away my tears.

“Bab, this isn’t goodbye,” he said.

Then he just held me and kissed me and never let me go until I was on that plane the next afternoon. And before the bus picked me up, I absorbed his every detail, wishing what he said was real. The bus came and told me to hurry up and we only kissed briefly. I cried the entire way to the airport. He sent me a text message saying, “You are part of me now and I’m never letting you go. We’re going to freeze time and outer space. I love you.”

Then I got to the airport and he was gone. It was like we never existed. He wrote me a note in my notepad telling me our love would grow stronger while we were apart and it was just one more day closer till we were together forever.

It’s six months later and I’ve been on ten airplanes since then, being crushed to the side as people grab their baggage and turn away from me and never look back after talking to them for the entire flight. I get feelings that we’ll freeze time again and while the world is frozen, we can exist in a state of perpetual eternity before our bodies crumble and our souls-our halves-go to some other galaxy where there is no time. Where time was just a word people used to use to keep track of their past. It’s almost time for the big move to New York City but I don’t want to get on another airplane. Because when you are flying, time is frozen when you are up in the sky. But I don’t want to freeze time without him. I don’t want to image this airplane moving forward. I wish airplanes would fly in reverse so I could rewind these last ten flights and be back in that perfect desert moment.

But we don’t talk anymore. I opened my mailbox and the two letters I wrote to him in Israel while we were trying to make the relationship work overseas came back to me. On the envelope I had written, “I LOVE YOU” in big happy letters. I broke down and re-mailed them again anyways. I’m not sure where they will end up since he’s back in South Africa and I’m moving to New York City. But I know those words will stay frozen in time and end up in a garbage dump, just sitting, rotting away, but never gone.

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