There’s a blind spot in my consciousness that lets me believe I am.
I go there most nights, when the world is away, when the waves slapping against the bank are all I hear, when the sun is gone for the day, when I need to remember who I am. If I’m lucky, ducks will swim by; if I am not, I’ll know they’re out there somewhere … and it brings me a sense of ease. At the very least, they’ll pass by sometime between when I am there and the morning comes.
No one else comes to this spot, for it’s dark and most are scared of what they cannot see. Me, I welcome it these days … what I cannot see and do not know is what keeps me going, so the darkness reminds me of the possibility of better things. There was a time, not so long ago, when what I saw brought me anguish, but those days are no more. Now I am content with what I see and happy with what I cannot. I like the darkness along these shores.
It is the sound of nothing, yet everything that matters mixed with wonders in my head, all happening at once, the whole time I am there. It is a blessing to be here, to smell it and feel it, everything in my hands, nothing out of place. I gaze ahead at the moonlight on the river lighting the ripples of the lady … she is my newest friend. She is a great one, too.
I struggle, some days, to hoard off my pessimistic side and its conjuring of the past. There are times I’m still bitter over the town I left – what a shit hole it is – and it drives me to a frown. I remind myself, at times like these, that it’s gone, the nightmare is over, and I’m awake in a better place. But I still remember some of the bad dreams I had as a child … is it not conceivable to understand why Wilmington remains in my head?
The Neuse River brings that blind spot in my consciousness to the front – and it swallows my thoughts of Wilmington. When I am there, sitting on a rock, looking for the ducks, listening them all speak to me as one, I become a part of it all and do not think of my time as a resident of America’s black eye.
The Neuse River is a great friend of mine. I wish she could meet the Allegany. I bet they’d hit it off …