Ordinary Eternity

[Exercise: See if you can nail down eternity right now. Give me this sterling moment, just as it is.]

We’re typing away on our Macbooks at Thunderbird Coffee. I’m recording reflections about my life while Jeffrey works on his Texas Bank Robbery book. The light is dim, but the people and objects around us are super crisp and clear, their voices blending harmoniously with the French music piping through the speakers. The toilet flushes and a hip-looking barista exits and smiles as he walks back to the counter. A man with a book in hand enters and places his order: two Tecate beers, served with a lime wedge perched on the rim of each can. He sits next to us and waits for his friend to arrive. A young man with wire-rimmed glasses sits behind me, surfing craigslist, looking for a job. I look up at Jeffrey and smile. His smile illuminates me and I noticed that his skin is translucent. He’s looking at me, but after a while I realize that he’s looking through me, seeing beyond my body, into space. But it’s not really space. It’s eternity. I look into his eyes and notice my reflection. I feel a sense of oneness, like I am part of everything, but still Stelli. I feel strange but incredibly peaceful. I look down at my computer and see words from books I’ve written even though I haven’t typed the words onto the page yet. I giggle and sip on my latte, which I notice was refilled. I smile and resume writing.

[Exercise: Now write down other moments you remember—that were strong and clear for you. They don’t have to be momentous.]

The strange man in England who use to take my photograph. At first the pictures were normal: me in nature, standing next to trees, in parks. Later, in his studio, he asked me to hold little stuffed animals next to my face. A few times he gently contorted my face just before snapping the shot. I decided to end our sessions. I was so naive back then.

When I saw Jeffrey for the first time. I pulled up in my car and he was standing next to the passenger side door of the car next to mine. His stare made me feel uneasy. I looked over at my friend and said, “What the fuck is he looking at?” Turns out my friend knew him and introduced us. I relaxed, but only a little. Within a year, we were lovers.

The time I shot the bird at my uncle and ran off giggling. I thought I was being cute, but our playtime came to a screeching halt. The talk that ensued felt embarrassing, even though I didn’t understand what I had done wrong. I decided I had better keep my fingers to myself.

Marrying Jeffrey on the beach in Kauai: just the two of us, plus the officiant and her husband who served as both witness and photographer. I remember thinking that it was strange how happy she was for us since it was her first time meeting us in person. They helped make our special day very memorable.