I wanted to understand why the first juncture was not the real juncture. I wanted to know why a false juncture even existed. And I wanted to know why “existed” had such a phony ring to it. I wanted to know a lot of things and a lot of things were not forthcoming, but some things were, and they were not the things that explained certain other things like when to expect a valid juncture.
If you believe it, sometimes that makes it true, so I started believing in junctures. So I guess I experienced one. I mean I believe I had one transition me. So I experienced getting from one thing to another. So I could go on. I could continue with a clear sense of the new direction being different from the old direction, which wasn’t a bad direction, just, well, “old.”
So I closed the door.
Meaning I wanted to go outside, but another juncture occurred, and I didn’t.
It was cold out there, but I still wanted to go.
Meaning, even at that age, I recognized the urge to squeeze when caressing a lover’s throat, and I wanted to. As I squeezed into her I mean, as she tightened her body’s grip on me. I was thinking about the future that hadn’t happened yet, but that I was already beginning to understand.
So I didn’t go outside.
Where it was raining. Where the sun was.
How do you say “wait” the way water does, or sunshine?
Because I want you to imagine it. Like I did, before it happened.
I want you to be me the way I used to be.
And I want you to save me from an early demise. Which hasn’t happened yet, of course, but could if what I’m asking isn’t impossible.
Notice I haven’t given you a description of the exceedingly ordinary suburban house in which the “real” juncture may or may not have occurred. Notice I haven’t described the rain. Notice the contradictory insertion of the symbolic optimism of green hillsides in the ordinary town. Now try to imagine the young girl’s secret words for desire. Notice the boy’s volley of verbal trophies disguised as accusations. Listen to them mouthing the same words, the ones they can’t use with each other yet. Notice nature’s defiant green thrust through the carcass of a robin.
Meaning I had decided to stay inside, but a juncture occurred.
So I went outside, and you were there.
Which we didn’t fully understand yet but sort of, and it was very dangerous after the juncture.
Because now this involved at least two of us.
Because one of us might have something to say.
Because it wasn’t obvious which one.
About the Author
Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. An interview and 18 hybrid works appear in the Spring 2011 issue of Bitter Oleander. In 2011 he has been nominated twice for Best of the Net and once for the Pushcart Prize. He is the 2012 winner of the Thin Air Creative Nonfiction Award.