Chapter 27: Andre’s High
At least once in every life, a day dawns with a realization that despite your up-bringing, despite your foibles, you stumble onto the nature of the heavenly realm. You know it from the little things. Your morning orange juice bursts with the intensity of the tropical grove from which it sprang. The sun slanting through the lingering mist surely leapt off Seurat’s brush only moments ago. And who is this god looking back at you from the mirror?
Andre is on fire, but not with that ruthless blaze that brings forth the light hidden within the soul, ultimately to consume it along with any shred of guarded self worth. “This is the real deal,” he says out loud, emerging from the tunnel and getting that first breathtaking glimpse of the towers of the Golden Gate. He draws a breath and the superstructure of the bridge, the cars in front, the tree-studded far shore—all of it moves into and through him.
The phone call from Sheryl was not the product of his imagination. It really happened. Okay. It’s not happening right now, so…so what! “Give it up you tight-ass!” He actually yells at himself! Wow! In that instant, Andre has to admit that he is tired of his own rhetoric. “Why not just simply be—and stop this incessant analysis. Last time you looked, you were an architect, not a shrink, for Chrissakes.”
They were on the phone for over an hour, making plans, rejecting them. Neither of them cared. They were in love and in touch. The loose ends of Kostas and company seemed insignificant. They considered everything. Sheryl quitting the Embassy and jetting to him—tomorrow. Andre sneaking off to the Bahamas in a private boat for a beach-time reunion. Or both of them, waiting out the capture and confessions of the Greek fugitives—finally clearing Andre of the ridiculous suspicions Frank continues to entertain—and a reunion in Santorini.
They decided to give it twenty days and then take action. They talked honestly about the pitfalls of long-distance relationships. They vowed this one would be short and that they would check in every other day. It sounded perfect. Solid. At least Andre, given his in-depth experience with construction delays, should know that nothing in this world is solid until it’s actually happening.
But right now pulling into the parking garage below his office, all Andre sees is Sheryl swimming in the stunning sea off Santorini, not the man in the dark sedan who’s pulled in behind him, parking a few spaces away.
Raw Florida Return Transmission After Forty-Two California Years
“O you who seek out the cracks, the niches, the odd pathways. You who not only subsist, not only maintain, not only eek out escape. Yea you who not only slip toward thriving but revel in your lurches, dance within your stumbles, you must submerge and strangle that whiny inner imp who pleads: ‘Comfort!’ ”
I say unto you: “Outlast that underlying drone which disturbs your prayer. Outshout that terrible critic who would devour your dream. Define your brand of triumph and so give birth to jubilation and thus enter that realm where you have become so intangible that this ‘you’ who used to be found in the mirror, in the sunburst, even in the clear lake, is but now a figment, a memento, a fleck from a grain of sand on that galactic island you must have craved because no one can now know from where—let alone how—you have come, scraping ankles and knees, belly and thighs, rubbing your very groin and guts on earth’s undercarriage to become this simply, alarmingly, brilliantly—invisible.”