sweet heart

by tobias crabtree

there’s this spot in oregon where the fir trees touch the oaks and the oaks touch the cedars, where a little creek drops down and rolls through the ferns, where there’s an old A-frame house that is owned by one of my good ol’ buddies and where his daughter, ruby, swings on a swing in the yard by the garden. it ain’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.

the other night, i was feeling blue (i make it a habit to feel blue at least once every couple of days, just to stay in practice) and i couldn’t quite put a finger on it. might’a been the thought of an old lover and familiar territory. it also might’a been the feeling of feeling sad and being so far from my ma. it could’a been the thought of life being a river and never slowing down, not even a little, but always rolling  and surging and swirling towards it’s destination which is whatever whoever believes it to be…or less. i ain’t really sure what was causing me to sit and wrinkle up my forehead, but it was happening and i wasn’t trying to stop it. and, as i have a tendency to really drop onto that particular wave, i started to stand up and leave the company i was in and go somewhere to flounder alone. so i started to stand and just then, someone put a hand on my knee. it was ruby, my 5 year old friend.

i looked down at her little hand and then i looked at her face and she wasn’t even looking at me, she was watching her dad kick everyone’s ass at badminton in the yard below. she stayed my departure. i was still intent on leaving but i was surprised by her decision to put her hand on me (she’s choosy with her affection). i know that she loves me but i couldn’t help but wonder if she felt my heart as it began to fall away for the night. finally she looked at me and said, “what are you doing up here, tobias?” i answered that i was just thinking. with her eyes as blue-grey as the falling evening she said, “isn’t this so nice?”

as dark as my heart can get, no matter the heavy, i will make it because of the little lights like ruby. there is a lifetime of knowledge, my lifetime of knowledge, that cannot be ignored. in it are the faults,dreams, lies, vulgarities, beliefs, losses, meannesses, imaginings and terrors. my wicked monsters walk hand in hand with my personal accomplishments. i am both sinner and saint, sometimes in the same day. but all this is buried and behind me…it all turns to smoke when i am in the presence of the sweet-hearted.

and, come on, really, isn’t this so nice? for me, for now, it most certainly is.