Jasmine on the Night

The coffee was rich: very dark and just barely sweet. Almost cold and just barely warm; just the way he liked. From somewhere, the heady smell of jasmine floated to him. He leaned his head against the window frame of his old pickup, and let his mind zoom free.

It was dark. Here and there, little lights twinkled and glowed; like fairy lights. Small sounds floated on the night air: a child's cry as he finally settled in, a woman's voice raised in mock irritation, a man somewhere quietly laughed. Something about the blanket of darkness and quiet, thrown on by the night, made even the most mundane, more magical.

It was almost always night, when he arrived at a new town. That was how the tours were planned. Everytime he arrived at a new town, under the magic-cloak of the darkness, glitterring with the little lights, sounds blurred and softened by the evenings lull, she seemed breathtakingly beautiful. everytime, he fell in love. and everytime felt like the first time.

When he came into town, in the night, it was easy for him to make believe, that he was alone. He walked around her perimeter, getting to know her; Keeping his distance, but slowly getting drawn closer. In the pristine night, she looked so clean: like noone else but him lived in within her, owned her, belonged to her.

Then as the night slipped away, and morning came: first quietly, gently, then roaring in, like a wave on the beach. Slowly, the little sounds, of the little people, were picked up by the air, and he could not ignore their existence any longer. It came and hit him like a kick in the groin, hard, quick and cruel: the consciousness of all these other people sharing his living space for the night, his new found place of magic and calm.

He was a claustrophobic loner; part hermit, part beast. He didnt like people, and they didnt like that much either. That was the main reason he worked this job. The long solitary nights on the road, the constant moving, from place to place, shifting again each time, the minute dust begins to settle in his wake, everything about the job that drove all but the most desperate people away, were the reasons he loved his job. It kept him 'sane'.

He was probably half mad. Maybe. We'll never really know. He had a need to possess or stay away. And It was hard, because himself, he was like the wind.

He couldnt be owned. Every relationship, was a barter. All he had to give was this fierce longing, his hunger, his quicksilver madness; His music, that had grown on him like a second skin, on his long lonely nights on the road; His books, that kept him sane on the stops; His words, and dreams, and hours; and reflections and echoes of years of living; lots of living; and a crazy Swirl that was a souffle of laughter and bitterness and tears. He was like the wind, as big & universal, as gentle & as harsh, as cruel & as unholdable.

He had such fierce possesiveness, and such a helpless un-possessibility. He had to have completely, or he couldnt have at all. He had to win, or he wouldnt play. But he was quite happy not playing, not winning, ot having, not owning.

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