melting the snow

Juan Miguel Torres

he had a gift. early in his life he would touch a glass of water and in a matter of seconds bring it to a boil. the bubbling water and rising steam would fascinate him. outside in the winter’s snow, he’d sit on the ground and with the touch of one finger, he would create circles of no snow. he also could focus on another person and read their feelings. in the midst of those many spats between his parents, he would attentively listen from the safety of another room, with closed eyes, and feel the anger and anguish in his father’s heart.

long after those early years, other distractions of life had waned his powers. he could still read the slightest clue of interest from people. the hand’s fingers reaching his arm, just once, all as part of the conversation, as a point of emphasis. but the touch would always create a cascade of feelings. he had read once that some people felt with colors and he wondered how that could be. others must do the same with smells he thought.

as a young man he had fallen in love with a beautiful girl. he glanced at her that first time and felt a warmth radiate from her and stream to him, enveloping him with a warm pleasure. there would be more such moments. such moments never seemed to end. he was able to see a chemical bond develop between them. the feelings, swirling between them, he could see them. they had become intertwined and had come to be inseparable. no matter how far apart they were, he could smell her, feel her, know her thoughts.

they became best friends and lovers and all that they learned they learned for the first time. a new place to walk. a poem once read. a painting once seen. he could see their swirls reach out to them and become part of them. a beautiful sunset by a river they cherished became part of their soul. never to be forgotten. a part of them.

and so they grew. each becoming more a part of the other. each taking in the world around them and sharing each new discovery.

but the powers that he possessed in youth must have waned. as storms drove into their lives, uplifting everything around them, a moment lost is the only way he could explain it later in life, she disappeared. Desperate to find her he searched as far as he could. he traveled to many places. he would close his eyes and try to listen for her feelings but they were not to be found. he found himself lost too. gone to places with no where to go. reaching to women with no swirls between them.

many years passed. every year he could count the times that he felt a glimmer, like someone touching him on his shoulder, but he’d turn, only to find no one. a ghost of her no doubt.

he had decided to come back where he started. the journey, it seemed, fruitless. he had done his duty, done his best. he had come full circle to the place where he could melt the snow. he walked their river. read their poems. still no feeling. no swirls. he could not hear her heart, even with closed eyes.

and then one day, he closed his eyes, and sent all that he could to his finger tips. he felt the warmth and then the hot and he placed his hands on his heart and with tears in his eyes, he whispered her name. and in no time, he heard her heart, felt her love and saw her swirls. they were from far away, he could tell. but the rush of love past began to pour in. their memories reopened.

so he began to walk again, toward where she was. and yes they met again and now find themselves reweaving their moments lost. finding a place for them.

today, he smiles. he had lost his way many times but he never gave up. at times he wasn’t sure what he wanted but now, he smiles again, and sees in her eyes all that there is to live for. he smiles again. he can melt the snow again.