Jason Akley has a BS degree from Tulane University in physics and mathematical economics. He’s the author of Crossroads from Damascus, Lazarus, two children’s books, Sweet Pea and the Bumblebee and The Candlestick, as well as a collection of novellas, Salted with Salt and The Altar of Silence. Currently he’s enjoying spending time with his wife and two daughters and hopes to continue engaging readers with thoughtful stories.
by Jason Akley
by Jason Akley
Published Apr 28, 2011
Genre: FICTION / Literary
Oh Yes, The World Will Always Welcome Lovers As Time Goes By
He began by sharing poetry. This was a decade after it was etched there, in my glass, the year of their establishment—the name. Letters in gold, and numbers that looked backwards, but in your language translate to 1993. I doubt you even know how often you’ve seen things that way, backward I mean, but you might know what I’m saying—what I’m speaking about—maybe you even understand the connection between time and language. It recalls to you something, something you call déjà vu, because in the reality of what I’m saying, you know you will know more than what I tell you, and the story I’m about to tell takes place ten years after it was etched there, the name, it takes place more than a decade after it became Rick’s Place, a story happening over the span of two years, and it would be betraying my commission if I went into dimensions beyond that—your world of my world, the world of you becoming aware of the story, for I’m just a purveyor in the chapters here, in what follows, in your world of the world, and the life that inhabits it… It is the perspective of the place that matters, what is seen in a place, and all its possible pasts—this is what you remember. The story is the place, and Rick’s Place is a café américain. As for the rest, what happens there, that’s merely a series of coincidences between characters, depending on how you look at it, on what you believe, on how it happens to you, if it happens at the right time, or the wrong time... In this story, he began by sharing his poetry, and I was there. I was there because I’m always there, even when you don’t look. You don’t have to look. Because your reflection doesn’t hide. It’s neither right nor wrong. It merely exists. An infinite regress, like mirrors staring at one another. Your reflection exists in me, in my memory. It exists in what I was, and I was the mirror there once. I was the mirror of the bar.
You relive your past in each day, in each moment, and sometimes invisible, like a ghost seeing what was once desired. And it’s funny when you realize it, when you become aware you’re this ghost, and like through some tunnel of ice, you look out—focused—all peripherals lost, until you almost think you know too much, and only that one seed of doubt to distrust the whole menagerie, and the truth there… And of course you look away, because you must—it’s the only way to be involved in it once again—to come back to what the other sees in you—that reflection in your memory, and the truth from where you were traces an indelible history, with facets to every moment, becoming the past that you live. A response to your fate.