The McDonald’s Kid: Light

The first time I kissed Alexis I broke away after a moment and told her she was beautiful and she said, “Slow down.”

But what she had not understood is that I meant her skin was luminescent and when I kissed her it felt like I was filled with light, light like I had only ever seen in dreams. The me that told her she was beautiful was the me that awoke in my dreams.

Almost every time I ever kissed Alexis I experienced the same sensation and the same me was awoken, though I did learn to keep quiet with broad, pointless compliments whenI should have been kissing. There were a couple years where the dream me was awake more and more often and parts of him became parts of me all the time. My memories of those years are lit by her light.

Something happened a year ago, I don’t know what it was, but my memories were no longer illuminated like they were before. It seems I had lost my way.

Recently, everything in my life had been flatly lit, as if by a sun hidden behind high clouds. At best, certain memories were bright, but always over-exposed.

***

I had not opened my eyes under water for a long time and when I looked toward the surface the light playing on the water was very familiar. I kicked my legs and pulled myself up and when my head broke the surface I gasped and sucked in air. A strange head came over the side of Alan’s boat and I shook my head and dove back down.

I went straight down as hard as I could and strained to see the bottom. Weeds and a tree stump emerged and I held myself there and looked and looked, seeing nothing, no one.

As I swam back up something crashed into the water out of the boat and I saw James heading toward the bottom. When I made it to the top I was shaking and felt very weak and I closed my eyes against the bright day and suddenly arms were pulling on me and they pulled me into the boat that had Alan and the four kids in it. I laid prone on the floor and couldn’t think.

The kid, whoever he was, still down there. Dead now, to be sure. I closed my eyes against the too bright sun-filled sky.

***

The first time I kissed Alexis I had believed there was nothing I couldn’t do. That imagining was doing. The first time I kissed Alexis my world had been lit by dream light.

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