‘Falling Into’ is the sixth installment in Daniel Boscaljon’s literary nonfiction series Becoming A Ghost. The previous installments can be found here.
River runs slowly in the verdant valley near the ghost town of flooded buildings, winding by the boathouse where we laughed through lunch, under bridges and traintracks, past classrooms and onward toward an eventual ocean as she and I share an apple, exchanging bites under a blue sky in a conversation that reveals how hurried words blurring by birth a world of shared delightful possibilities—opened, fresh, nothing known or determined, lacking history or time or present or future, possessing only an expansive Edenic moment that permits my skin to feel each mowed blade of grass as it supports me. My teeth feel the white apple flesh between them, juices sticking to my lips that know anew the secret of how to smile. Pupils become enlarged with the need to receive all the beauty of the world, cheeks sun-warmed and breeze-cooled. Still I hear words not as words but as bridges and paths to travel into unknown spaces, expanding in an interiority that had been foreign and unknown but suddenly and absolutely revealed as the most true and certain anchor I had ever known, catapulting me from my past world of seriousness and meetings and events and work into something that joy itself would breathe forth from its mouth, in a trumpeting as true and resonant as that of the yetis, whose golden voices echo between the mountain and the valley in distant lands. I knew then the possibility of a trust and unity that surpassed all previous, fumbling attempts at dating: once clumsy, my fingers now touched life and felt other fingers anticipating their presence, hands embracing fingers touching palms—aligned beauty dawning as my eyes learn to touch as well, to caress and feel and as my heart learns to feel, driven into flesh to touch and love as my body became an organ swollen with love and power and joy bound to explode over days and months and years of time beyond recognition or acknowledgment, hurtling past all signs that had stopped similar descents in the past, heedless of reason’s admonitions to be prudent, flying past warnings of caution or responsibility, to a trust deep and pure and radiant upwelling and surging forth to meet me. I suddenly had fallen, fortunately!, into a world of absolute unknowns and therefore infinite possibilities for joy and I crashed through each boundary and barrier in a haste to find ways to give her more, realizing that our final consummation meant the infinite embrace of bodies entwining like Aristophanic giants healing from their divine sundering. I know myself fallen into an enfleshed form that makes sense of the world by seeing everything as nobly incarnated, understanding how each thing in the world knows and honors the experience of undergoing, and how that moment makes the space around us something wholly different than had ever existed. I saw black pupils mirror the experience, sharing it, inviting it, moving deeper, surging forward in a race toward a world where no bottom could ever stop the fall and each motion felt like flying instead of falling, a powerful surging that defied all laws and limitations—but if this is falling into love, and I can remember it, how easy too is it to fall into despair where winter grips the heart in an icy clutch that slows time into painful, discernible heartbeats that render each breath an impossibility as your only desire is to cease the desire for a beloved who has moved into futures barred to you, into paradises your feet will never touch, into Edens where a wiser her will stave away corruption, a despair that minimizes your capability to act or move or breathe, that transforms memories of bliss into new excuses for cold daggers to eviscerate the wounded self that desires the communion of a shared life but is thrust apart, bewildered, into a lonely world haunted by nothing but ghosts, and suddenly I realize that falling itself cannot be the answer, for not every fall is fortunate and the rush of pleasure and terror are impossible to fully sever from each other. I thought nothing could stop my plunge into love until fear transformed my direction–no longer was I falling into the vast starry heights of great desire but instead into the insensibly abyssal depths of grave despair–and as the ground shimmers and its final embrace appears as wasted cowardice instead of a heroic gesture I realize that despair ends, as love, in death, but a pathetic death that robbed sacrifice of its potential nobility and meaning, and then remember the taste of our long ago apple and feel the echoes of love and spin so that I cannot understand what direction I’m falling into and if I will again watch as the river runs