As I whirled, colors flew. White, grey, black, so many shades I lost count. Laughing with exhilaration, I hooked falling teacups with my finger, caught them on my elbow, hooped them to a standstill with my tongue, and juggled them with my elbows before tossing them perfectly to the counter where they stacked up, seemingly of their own accord. It was beautiful. There was always time to do what you wanted here. You could be free, as I was. No one to tell you no, no one to steer you by the arm the wrong way. Always the wrong way.
The last time I’d seen him,we’d stood side by side, not touching; looking down on the rapids. It was dark, of course, to make sure we could lie with impunity; when I told him I loved him; probably when he told me he loved me. But we said it just the same. For the elusive security of security. And it worked – that is to say, it did what I wanted it to do. The clock struck the twelve of midnight terrors, but also of the new day. I didn’t know which one was more frightening. Just as we left, I took one last photograph of him, without him seeing. It captured him perfectly, the way I always saw him.
I saw him next the day I first caught teacups. He smiled at me. He smiled at me as I shined the teacups furiously, whispering, “Shining isn’t an art, it’s artifice.” After that day, I stopped cleaning them, I just caught them as they fell. I never catch all of them though. I leave some of them on purpose so he has to come again. I like this. I like this very much. I like him very much. Always did. And now he’ll always be here when I want him.
I stood on the bridge at midnight as the clocks were striking the hour