art by Ron Sanders
Current and Still
by Caroline M. Yoachim
I am in love with a man from the current.
My mother thinks this is foolish. She wants me to settle down with a boy from the still. She doesn't understand. She met my father when they were in the current. Otherwise I wouldn't exist.
The man from the current lives his life in repeating waves, as people do. In the mornings, forward, putting on the suit and tie and riding the train to work. In the evenings, back, the train again before taking off the suit. Yet beneath these repetitions there is change, an overall direction of learning and promotion and aging and decline.
He does not know that I am watching from the still.
Women pass through his life. Marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce, dating, dating, friends. With each one I wonder, will they steal his heart away from me, before he leaves the current? I have no way of knowing, until he comes to the still.
We dated once, the man and I, though he was a boy back then. He took me to a frozen pond and I wobbled and clung to his arm while we skated slow circles around dangerously thin ice. I fell through and he fished me out of the frigid water, but I left the current two days later. My mother says my love is obsession, and reminds me that I am a teenager and he will come to the still an old man. She tells me that there are nice boys in the still, single lonely boys who left the current with cancer or in car crashes, or a million other ways. Some of them pine after girls from the current, and doesn't that seem pathetic?