In the stillness of the night, sometimes my past comes to me, an unwelcomed visitor, reminding me of all I’ve done wrong. She is a neglected lover, an ignored leak in the roof, a betrayed friend. A dirty stain that could’ve been removed upon discovery but, left uncleaned when first noticed, ruined the white shirt I wore on our wedding day. An empty party cup of beer I never should’ve picked up and placed on my lips. A connection to the natural world now dormant. Words uttered that should’ve been repressed coupled with stiffled speech never expressed. The past is my shunned lover, coming in the night, whispering what could’ve been, if only I’d done right.
Then, in the morning, my mind is clouded with thoughts of countless tomorrows, mocking me by being just out of reach, teasing me with promises always postponed. I snooze my alarm on life and close my eyes again, returning to my future, a damsel dancing in a dream, tantalizing me with her beauty, constantly remaining on a distant stage. My future is a lover with a graceful gait, mesmerizing me, relieving my mind from numbing tedium today. She leaps across the stage, helping me believe tomorrow- or maybe the tomorrow after tomorrow- I will join her and dance, finally starring in this life I wish to call my own.
Once again, the alarm beckons me, calling me to confront a new day; I struggle to slide out of bed, leaving my past and future behind. I push them out of my head, vaguely aware they’re leaving me blind. My only companion is the present. She often lacks beauty but offers no promises and tells me no lies. She does not dwell on yesterday, tease me with milestones or wear a disguise. Briefly I turn away from her, shifting my attention. She callously slaps me in the face. Wake up, be present, be here now and see that I am your only love, she jealously screams. In that instant, my face stinging and her rebuke echoing in my ears, I look in the mirror and see she is me. With tears clouding my vision and my senses fully awake, I realize the me of the moment is the only lover I need. Come to me, I cry, leave your past behind and get the future out of your mind. See me and seize me and walk with me now!
Will I listen to my own pleas, and lay down with this new lover, this lover of me? Let my past lovers go and my future lovers wait. There’s a lover in front of me and we’ve got a date.