Often, we write short pieces that, although they have a certain resonance, don’t fit into any obvious category for submission. This is one of them. Written from a workshop prompt to include the lyrics or title of a song, I wrote, “Crazy Little Thing.”

Your eyes, the ones I recognized, over a plate of cold vegetables neither of us ate, in a pub pulsing with rock music and the shouting of young people. These are eyes, I wrote later that night, I will know for a long time yet. The green of them with their flecks of gold and kindness. One last attempt at this crazy little thing.

The earth has tilted and, even if it’s a lie, we are unable to fly, even if I wanted to. You are sorry, and I suppose I am also.

The screen has gone blank—both the inner and the outer—where I could meet your eyes. The moss green eyes with their flecks of gold and grief. I cannot reach across plains and mountains, and my internet connection is unstable at best.

At the end, the end of a time when you could touch me, when you had begun to reach and not touch me, it was a season such as this. When I flew for the last time, the streets of the town where we lived were lined with cherry blossoms.

I can no longer gaze across our table into those sad green eyes. You are sorry, and I suppose I am also.

This crazy little thing has been chipped of its patina. I’m aware of the mixed metaphor but my connection is weak and I’m trying to recall how I saw you then, if who I perceived was ever you. Was that you, that kind, confident, witty, brave man, who I fell into love with? Or does that crazy little thing even exist in the real world? My real world is what I mean.

Others seem to have mastered this mysterious art of two together. Although curious, I won’t be registering for any Zoom courses on how to begin, navigate, negotiate, or survive such a thing as romantic love.

While I’ve stumbled through these years with you and come out empty-handed, while my most enduring romance lasted only a handful of years, I have a friend whose clear blue-grey eyes have never, in nearly fifty years, shifted. Across plains, mountains, and oceans, we have persisted.

Perhaps that’s the secret. Ditch the crazy.

 

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