Tangerine Dream Part VI: I Love You!
“Shh…hush little baby…”
The moment she thought she heard him say, “Shh…hush little baby…” was the moment it happened. Now some may find it rather silly that a grown woman would want to hear those little words, but when she is Josephina Ava Grayson, those words mean everything. Perhaps more than they should, but Ava needed to feel love in the most tender of ways. She needed to be held and needed to feel safe.
A lifetime of battling an invisible force inside of her head had finally taken its toll on her health and livelihood. She could remember that even as a small child, she had battled with the thoughts. Thoughts you were not supposed to have. Ones, according to the preacher of the Primitive Baptist House of Worship said sent a person straight to hell. And yet, hell eventually did not seem as if it could be any worse than the hell of living with the fragments of a brain filled with metal.
A metallic brain is hard to describe to those who do not have them and even harder to explain to those who refuse to believe that they actually exist, but ask most any soldier who has seen combat, and they will tell you that they not only exist, they can rust over time.
Ava Grayson felt as if she had seen combat and the close kind: the kind that rusts over time. She felt as if she had tried hard only to find over and over again that for all tends and purposes it did not matter how large the crowd, Ava felt alone.
And loneliness is such a hurtful feeling. It makes one crawl even deeper into her shell. Eventually, loved ones just came to accept the fact that Ava rarely left her house, but had become connected on the web. She was doing what helped her cope the most, she was writing again. People were writing her back. She had discovered how she could safely interact with others, and not just any others, but fellow writers.
Fellow writers from all over the world and it had been one Benton Silverwood who had stolen her heart, had courted her, and crowned her his queen. He not only responded, he wrote her poetic responses. Before long, Ava was talking a little more. She was smiling. Each time she received a post from Benton SIlverwood, she would read it over and over again, and then there had been the letters. After many months of hide and seek, the phone call from her to him on a hot, mid-day afternoon sitting at the bottom of her driveway in order to sustain the phone signal. There had been the cool, summer evening in the park where she had gone to walk and seen the cloud of birds sweep onto the baseball field, birds she had never seen before: blackish with white rings around their wings. Birds like in the movie: Birds. She took pictures with her cell phone, but she had forgotten her glasses so her pictures just looked like big blurs of gray. The moment before the birds had basically fallen out of the sky was prefaced with the chimes from the Presbyterian Church reminding all of God’s creatures that seven chimes meant 7:00.
And all of the sudden, Ava was feeling lucky. She was feeling so much lighter and the world looked so less harmful. She felt safe.
When the day Benton was to arrive, Ava was up early. She had barely slept a wink for nights not because she was scared or afraid. She was curious and excited. She was getting to meet the man who she had met after discovering some of his writing. The man she had told his poem was “whimsical” who in turn whimsically wrote her back with such grace and charm. She was sure she had felt him holding her 700 miles away. A spiritual connection had been made. Ava could feel herself feeling more and more alive and more and more willing to give life a try.
So, when it came time to go and pick up Benton at the Greyhound station, Ava knew she had a good two hour drive around narrow curves alongside mountains leading into a county or two over once she crossed the State line to think about what she was doing – going to pick up a man she had only met over the net. She could hear Cannon whispering warnings. “Be careful. Check his I.D. Make sure he has a round ticket.”
As soon as she saw him, she loved him. He had been telling her so much about himself that Ava felt as if she had always known him.
In order to make his visit appear professional, an agreement had been made in advance. This was to be a business trip, nothing more. Business was discussed and quickly dismissed for while they wanted to act as if there had been no chemistry; the truth was that there had been nothing but chemistry. Two souls had met through the art of language and all of the nuances explored in that world of words. To deny such a connection existed was futile. Everywhere they went, others could not help but see that what they had was something very special.
And it is those things that are rare that makes them the kind of thing that is special. Rarity is such a paradox. It must be one of the few to survive over time, but time must pass before one knows which ones survived. And in a different world, one where there are no windowsills or mountain sides, Ava and Benton would have made it. Would have been that couple who stood the test of time, but unfortunately they had something that would forever connect them while forcing them to say, “Goodbye.”