A certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect.
I’ve had a bit of a Sierra relapse lately, and I’ve hesitated to write about it, hoping it would pass, but as each moment goes by and it still remains. For some reason, I dreamed about a memory.
“Well, isn’t that a picture, how perfect,” Sierra said.
She was leaning forward on the open passenger car door. I walked around the back of the vehicle and put my arms around her delicate waist.
“What?” I asked, but then I saw as I followed her gaze: a green grassy hill, at the top a tree, on an outstretched branch, a little rope swing, and two children, a boy and a girl playing on it, and the blue sky beyond.
An unreachable picture of innocence, but here we stood, next to the railroad tracks, nothing but dirt and gravel, dry brush and weeds, muddy pits filled with standing water, trash, disused steel barrels, broken concrete structures with graffiti. If goodness and purity were a spectrum, we stood at opposite ends, the hill and those children, and me there with my arms around another woman, and all I could do was stare blankly.
“We should try to find a way up there sometime. Must be quite the view.” I said.
But, between us and the hill was a railroad track, and fences on either side, then rows of buildings and houses. I could no more reach out and touch the scene and envelope myself in it any more than I could restore pure innocence to my life.
“That would be nice,” she smiled, she reached around and caressed my rough cheek and chin with her soft hand.
I leaned over and kissed her lips.
I know from Sierra’s Instagram that she is back in town, not graduated at she said she was, but I know better than to contact her. I just miss her, that’s all. I hear her voice in my head, the way she’d enunciate certain words, like my name, with deliberate exaggeration. I see her face form that mischievous grin that she’d make whenever she saw me. I miss the way her brow furrowed expressively during her faux-innocent sarcastic commentary. I wonder if it will ever be that perfect accumulation of the imperfect again.