In the Sunshine
The day her thinking shifted from concept to practical, was when Kavi took her on a picnic by the Mississippi river. She rode on the back of his motorcycle, holding him around the waist. Most memories become cherished long after the fact but this one would already last a lifetime.
The Krishna Ashram penchant for delving inside yourself, good or bad, was not what she’d known growing up. It was more like, to each his own and fend for yourself.
Watching her back, on those days her mother was too ill to straighten her hair. Or reveling in adoration popular girls get in high school. She would never think to ask herself why something made her feel bad or good.
Was this what Sam had called empathy? She despised the word she’d been accused of lacking. It stung worse than being called a selfish bitch.
The ashram changed her thinking. Similar to how algebra went from complex to simple, like a light bulb illuminating above her head. She probably couldn’t do algebra, now that fact and feeling existed together.
Sam is a good person, was a logical absolute. Sam is a soul mate, was not provable but only a feeling. His love wrapped around her and protected her like a jaguar.
Before bed Eunice closed her eyes and tried the seaweed meditation on her own. It was surprisingly easy to get to the ocean floor, by imagining her hands, moving above in sync to the waves but it didn’t work. As if accepting being awake during insomnia, she meditated on Sam instead.
Sam obsessed on how she froze him out. Why was it so easy to discard him? She didn’t trust his love for her. Why? She didn’t trust anybody’s love. He wouldn’t care if she removed her love. What if he did care? His being crushed by her lack of connection never occurred to her. Perhaps he now despised her for the ultimate discard.
Kavi spoke of boundaries. She remembered blinking and staring as she waited for him to get to the point.
“Nina, to be cognizant of where we end and someone else begins is the magic spot you need to find,” Kavi said.
The thought of confession made her uneasy.
“I’ll be honest. I can’t imagine thinking where I end and Sam begins,” she said.
“Wonderful. Tell me more about Sam? What’s important to him?” he asked.
“Sam looks at me like no one else can,” she said.
Lying in bed, the seaweed ocean long gone, Eunice felt hot tears falling to her pillow as the answer came to her. She had no choice but to stop ignoring Sam’s love.
I’m sorry Sam, I never knew what love was.