Updated: Jan 23
We were walking along the Charles, something I did quite often in those days, without even knowing why. It was night, and I did not yet understand a promenade or where I was going. Yet the evening brought us here, on a dimly lit pathway and a colonial bridge. Here, I looked to the moon, and then to her, and then to the river:
“Soon this will be the Seine and I will be living in a dream.”
She smiled back, “Soon this will be the Seine, and you will miss the Charles.”
It was then that I understood what she meant.
It is like when she invited me to her birthday, and I was surrounded by acquaintances and strangers who became friends overnight, with the guidance of her voice. Dancing, art, music, and language, she said it was the best birthday she’d ever had. It was all new to all of us, yet we found something in common: the small elevator; her hidden smoking habit; her love of people, song, and that city. She was fearlessly what I was missing. She reminded me that love exists in every place if you choose, and I should not waste it on a dream concerning past or future. She was always present and in circumstances where I was told to be that person, with her, I was the one lacking. It is what sparked my difficulty leaving— realizing that memories will not renew but become redundant and bitter by neglect or nostalgia, that comes from a place of love, yes, but also of a need to be polite. One evening, Jaco came to swing dance with me, having no idea as to the steps or trainings. A friend inquired, and I was fond of his soft eyes; he too saw her bravery as it is— a devotion to present life and a passion for it.
Yet I inspired her: “Things just come to you. When you want something, the universe finds its way.” I had truly never thought so deeply about what was in front of me— to wish for music books and then for a man to donate them to me the next day, the circumstance she was referencing here— and I thought it merely a passing phase. The music I mean, for I must acknowledge now the depth Jaco has revealed to me in her intentions.
I think of her on a beach just as the sun is setting. She is singing and smiling with her mom who is nearby. The stars slowly encroach upon the pink as the tide slips away, and she perhaps will play guitar or paint. It is home; and her view is of warmth. When most of our shared days had been in cold, her radiance stems from this, in her ability to make Boston shine. And she has a way to pull me into it— to resonate on my own passions while following her’s.
Jaco is a dreamer, and although we exist often in different places, in most seasons, when we meet halfway, our view opens to spring or fall, when temperatures are mild, and change rampant. Tempting, but never is it winter; never summer.