What if we didn’t let go?

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September 6, 2015 – a story about a dream I had of a friend. May her journey bring her peace

A friend and I were walking down a street.

Hand in hand.

Which must mean that they play or played a role in my life that was true.

Something real.

Something with ‘pure’ meaning. 

The skies were cloudy.

The atmosphere looked and felt ‘grey’.

And not a quaint feeling of a ‘happy go lucky’ black and white film.

When two people are holding each other’s hand, because they are two damn privileged fools, singing in the rain.

Not worrying if their shoes will collect moisture.

If their feet shall begin to stink.

If a pain will resonate from within.

Like the cracks on the pavement, or the proverbial cracks in or on their mind, would begin to manifest itself in our joints and bones. 

We meant so much to each other. 

At different points, in our worlds we played different roles. 

Expressing wisdom, guidance and  love to each other. 

There was always love. 

We learned from each others actions, missed actions and passing cues.

Individual waiting games, but we rallied and queer leader or cheer lead each other to goals.

We held each other’s hand, because in the good times, and the bad, we were each other’s allies. 

We were each other’s ‘Yoda’. 

Our vice givers and advice receivers. 

But the grey was surrounding us.  

We were scared. 

We were on my street downtown, heading toward what I though was home. 

My home anyways. 

Her home was still in Rankin somewhere. 

At least I think it is. 

It has been a year or two that we saw each other. 

Our wayward beat, began drifting out of tune, and we began dancing to different playlists. 

Always a dancing queen, ready to get down with her fellow dancing queens. 

I missed out on too many. 

The liquor would fool my fire, and my inner demons would take over. 

They longed for drowning. 

They longed for grey. 

But over time, even our greys would become different. 

The cracks in my world had began to heal, within reason. 

A foundation had began to grow, and I was beginning to obtain peace.

Whatever that means. 

While, my dearest Yoda, my dancing queen, began dancing in fog.

Her grey, became a shade that matched a faint abyss. 

Her regal rounded circle dancers, now became a passionate, sticky, closed off mingling with the previous demons, that waved to me, in the bottom of bottles.

I wish they stayed there.

For now I could see them. 

To see the pain, that laid dormant for many grandmother moons, in my friend

As their house disappeared, while they danced with demons.

As their family turned their backs, while they danced with demons,

As her body began to match the disjointed, disfigurements of her dancing partner.

As the demon she danced with brought its mangled face closer to her ear.

So close that her face would blister, her hair turning grey, then falling out and her ear would blister as he whispered, like a claw on a chalkboard, “I love you”.

She’d lean back, as this menace would dip her, digging its nails into her veins, as here eyes rolled back into her head, until all she said was, “I know.”

But we walked together, in a world of grey. 

I was trying to tell her of what her life was before. 

And how her choreography was similar in previous days.  

She kept shaking here head, but at times would catch a glimmer of reflection and memory in her eye, if only for a moment. 

Especially when I told her, that at one point in time, when I was dancing with a demon, she ripped  me from out of its clutches, held me in her tiny arms and told me it would be all right. 

It was at this moment though, that I began to understand. 

But right before we could embrace each other. 

The screeching sound was heard from behind us.

As a truckload of cowards and hunters, who were stalking us raced down a street we had just passed. 

We didn’t know or could tell who they were. 

We didn’t feel ‘right’ and we knew we weren’t ‘white’ and we weren’t ready to become missing. 

So we ran. 

Those men’s hollering and laughter were every where. 

I told her to hold on, that we were almost there. 

“Almost where?” She screamed, from the top of her lungs, as tears ran down her brown face, as her hair became matted with sweat and grey matter. 

“My home” I yelled as I could see that her veins were starting to turn black. 

She began shaking her head.

“No, that isn’t my home.” 

Her eyes were full of tears. 

“That isn’t my home.”

Her grasp around my wrist, began to loosen.

Her skin began to seep a darkened oil from her pours, as I lost my connection with her.

I could do nothing. 

I felt like nothing. 

We stopped at an intersection.

She let go of my hand. 

And her eyes were now black.

In a far off voice, she told me this.

“They can’t find us, if we are together.”

“They can’t find us both” 

And it was there, that some how she was now up one street from where we once where.

And from my viewpoint I could see that her hair was no longer matted.

That her eyes were now back the way how they were before, when we first met. 

Her veins no longer black.

A faint song could be heard, from the east.

And in the west, the hollering stopped.

But in its place came a growling of shouts.

“Where did they go?”

“They mustn’t get away.”

“Find them…. Or capture one.”

And we ran.

Keeping quiet, we ran, separated, but both heading in the same direction.

It felt like an eternal and internal race.

I could still see her.

I could still here it or them, chasing us both.

Then I lost sight of her.

I screamed out her name, and told her to keep going, to not stop.

And in a shallow breath I shouted.

“I’m sorry for letting go.”

And in my mind I could hear her voice say, 

“I know.”

I kept running.

I ran passed my home.

Until I reached the Indian Friendship Centre.

An urban reserve.

I ran inside, closed the doors behind me, and turned to catch a glimpse of my friend, who’s hand I let go of, again.

But instead of shouting and growling thunder, all I could here was a bell.

And from across the street a procession of people, wearing black, streamed out of a building. 

I closed my eyes, as the bell tolled, and whispered to my friend, “I love you”.

And in a far off place, somewhere on our reserve, Dancing Queen was being played from a song list, and I could see her smile, she squeezed my hand, and said.

“I love you too Ted.”

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