by: Tara Ruttenberg
4. day zero
i met you on my birthday at the Malcom X drum circle, beckoning you in my divine visualization across the sea of dancers, my yellow jeans fancy-free in Sunday afternoon.
“i’m Tara,” i said.
“of course you are,” you replied, tiger eyes glowing in intrigue. “Tara, goddess, you are devi,” you said to me, “dancing us all into the light.” i melted into your spiritual poetry.
10 minutes later, we had known each other for millennia.
you were the most unique circus of a person i had ever met – yoga, surf, capoeira, thai massage, stunt acting, intellectual, entrepreneur, urban, suburban, travelled, spiritual, cultured, interesting; interested. 15 years my senior, your experience and passion a lesson in every conversation, i mostly listened.
you liked my touch, the chemistry in our spirits.
we braved DC’s version of the hurricane for breakfast, present in each other’s gaze as the wind howled. oblivious to those around us, hours passed in seconds. later, we sought shelter from the storm in warm embrace. mesmerized, i was into you, but something in me wasn’t. i couldn’t put my finger on it, but i was invested to find out.
it was a weeklong romance ripe with possibility, the two of us nomads by destiny, content to float like feathers in the wind.
“come to Mexico with me for Mayan 2012,” you said before I left. i had been planning to go anyway, of course. we started planning the trip, and then your visit to Costa Rica, and then our travels to Bali.
“i keep looking at travel magazines,” you told me. “and all i think about is where would Tara like to go?” i would have gone anywhere.
weeks passed and i still hadn’t booked my flight. you had passport issues postponing your trip. i broke my nose in Colombia and spent the solstice at home. you went, and we lost touch.
nearing the first of the year, i finally heard from you.
“i met my mate on Day Zero,” you wrote me, letting me down graciously, grateful to me for opening your heart to the possibility of soul-level connections you had written off in years past.
i smiled when i read your words, happy for you. and not that sad for me, really. i now understood my inexplicable hesitance when we were together: you were a beautiful fantasy of my own design; a ghost, fleeting by nature, impossible to hold.
my soul content in knowing you again, my heart didn’t resist letting you go.