Lost & Found – The Way Things Are

I’ve carefully planned it all out. In university laboratories across this great country, teams of scientists are working around the clock researching ways to bring our love back to life. Working on my behalf, Stephen Hawking and Madame X are comparing quantum mechanics and star charts, searching for a loophole in the way things are.

In the place where things once were, I’m on the shore beneath the cliffs. You remember, the place where we saw the seals playing in the bay and you wrapped my jacket about your shoulders. I’ve got a packet of cigarettes in my shirt pocket, and all the things I should have said are going around and around in my head, waiting to be shared with you. I’ve arranged for the fog to roll in from the north and the sea planes to land by the dock. I’ve engineered the tide to sweep in on command, and I’ve paid the ferryboat captain to motor back and forth across the bay. On my command, the wind rises and falls, and all the wild geese fly in formation overhead. At a word from me, the jellyfish you used to scoop up in the cupped palms of your hands wash around my waterlogged work boots. I’ve got all my regrets carefully organized. Obedient to my gesture, darkness seeps slowly into the sky, the clouds part, the clockwork moon moves about the earth and the constellations are lit just as they were the night you first lifted your shirt for me. The obedient cedars release their dark scent, and pine cones fall in predetermined patterns on the forest floor. The woman at the Harbourside Pub checks her watch and drops a quarter into the jukebox. The sound of your favourite country song drifts out faintly across the waves, interrupted at precisely the right time by a single foghorn blast. Like dogs that have been whistled for, all the thoughts of things that might have been come rushing at me out of the blackness.

At home, night after night, the stage is set. I’ve got beer and oysters chilling in the fridge and a chunk of wood burning in the pot bellied stove. My dreams about the way things are going to be different when you come home this time are sorted and ready.

I guess the only thing missing from this pretty little scene is you riding up the road on your red motorcycle to meet me. The one thing I will never be able to make happen.

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