To Sample the Stars.
During the week I got a long and detailed message from him saying that he couldn't remember the last time he saw the stars.
"While I do PHYSICALLY look at them, I cannot allow myself to be lost in them and instead look up at them briefly and sadly like seeing a photograph of some happier time that has passed. 'Yep, those are some pretty nice stars' I think to myself. 'Too bad I can't really see them anymore. Oh, well.'"I couldn't understand what it was like for someone to be in that kind of position. It wasn't like being in the city where the stars were blocked out by layers of smog and low clouds. In a place such as his own, the stars were bright and abundant, covering the sky in mass quantities and almost impossible to ignore. But this man, who deserved more than anyone to see the beauties of life in their most unaltered forms, was not blessed with such an ability to see them to any notable extent, and to learn that was nearly heartbreaking.
I will not deny that what I'm doing with this man is amazing. In a series of small baby steps, I am participating in an experimentation that changes lives, and I am experiencing the effects of the treatment I am inducing at the same time. I didn't know what I was getting into when I met him, or how exactly I was going to go through the process. But as if by fate, everything fell perfectly into place, and every part of this trial process has unintentionally gone off without a hitch, just as for some reason I knew it would when I first acquired this fascinating personality into my own life. I have no intention of changing this man, or trying to make him something that he is not, or even trying to force any kind of ideology onto him. I am the therapist that is also his friend. I am the therapist that will be there for the Brozone on Sunday and stick around Petaluma for most of Monday. I am the therapist that he can call any time when he's feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated with uncomfortable thought. I am the therapist that thinks about him when he is not around and wonders if he's feeling good at that very moment. I am simply doing my best to aid while he changes his own life.
And so outside we went after the final half an hour of a Brozone that maintained itself with sounds of feedback and chirping morning birds while we rested briefly on his bed. We didn't look up at the stars right away. Instead, we began walking down the road into a tunnel made by trees and absolute darkness. We could not see anything ahead of us; not even where the sky touched the ground on the uphill path ahead. When we reached a spot lit with the perfect absence of light and sound, we stopped, laid our backs against the pavement in the middle of the deserted street, and looked up.
Within seconds, a shooting star spanned almost the entire length of the sky. The stars were a million tiny clusters that made imaginary pictures in our own minds. We laid there in the middle of the road with our hoodies and furry lamb-skin hats supporting our heads as we gazed into them, focusing and blurring our vision at the sheer magnitude of how many there were, and how clear as day they were in this absolute darkness of night that surrounded us. The only sound was the synchronized hooting of owls in the trees to our left, and the occasional shifting of our legs and feet on the rocky asphalt. It was silent, vast, and awe-inspiring. We linked our fingers together and moved them slightly over each other's cold skin, lying face up with our noses pressed against the most open and remarkable sky I'd seen since late nights on the back roads of Vermont. Knowing that this beauty compared surprisingly to that beauty I'd known for so long and that beauty I thought I'd never find again, made it that much more mircaulous. I remembered wishing quickly on that shooting star that Damian would see the stars, and I only hoped that he was feeling as lost in them as I was.
"Do you see them?" I asked after a few more minutes of silence.
He laughed a little and then kissed me as we lied there right smack in the middle of the road; a kiss most passionate and fitting for our placement and situation. I knew at that point how important this really was for both of us to see through. I knew at that moment that leaps and bounds had been made in all these tiny baby steps we had been taking, and even though there was much work left to be done, I knew how good it felt for both of us to admit that something was clicking. I knew this because I knew that at that moment, even if his eyes were closed as he kissed me, he could see the stars.