I try to love the love I can’t find, even when I have no motivation to reach for it. Because love is always trying. When it throbs and burns. When others say no thank you, enough, leave me alone. Love has no shame. Love fumes and rallies. Love sits in a plane seat, reads about the inexorable beginning to an end of an earth we know. Love peels back the self ’s loathing contradictions, asks for eyes to check out the shameless dawn through airplane windows. Love loves the flatulent passengers while they play video games. And the impregnated flight attendant who pops straws into coffee cups. Love loves the straw’s next 500 years of decomposition, its beginning to an end. Love shoves the straw into my bag as a reminder to turn off the lights. Love soothes the scientists who say our damage is irreversible. Love reminds us of the present luxury of convenience and comfort, air conditioning, cars, plane rides to a neighboring city. Love doesn’t blame us for feeling needy, but will sometimes ask us to trade in our comfort for other’s discomfort. Love high fives the possibility of harmonious upheaval. It considers the flight. It considers the cup of coffee in my hand, its waxy plastic that landfills won’t absorb, the two pieces of gum I’ve chewed, the bottle of water, three morning flushes, 5 dollar turmeric elixirs, boarding passes, the battery operated Lyft ride to the airport, leather interiors. Love says my child is 7. She’s in a world of handouts and safety. She gets what she wants, plucks kale from the garden. She doesn’t know the end is coming. Love doesn’t tell her.
Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time. Rewind. Play. Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time. Rewind. Play. Anne of Green Gables Kisses Gilbert for the first time. Slow motion. Anne of Green Gables Kisses Gilbert for the first time. They are best friends. Gilbert is in love with Anne, but Anne is a solitary girl focusing on teaching and writing. Anne is spunky. Anne is a kindred spirit. Anne doesn’t care much about appearances. Anne admires the beauty of other women more than her own. Anne is the red haired protagonist, an orphan with freckles. Red hair is spitfire. Red hair stands alone in a sea of black, brown, blonde and gray.
Rewind. Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time. He looks into her eyes and caresses her cheek. She pulls him into her. They stand on a bridge in the middle of a bridge, one side is hers and the other is his. They kiss slowly, beginning something, ending something else.
With this kiss comes expectation, not the end of the film, which it is, but the continuation of something else, promises, travels to Moscow, shared cups of tea in an early morning kitchen. The bridge’s structure solidifies. It becomes resilient to earthquakes and bombings. Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time. Gilbert’s prick hardens in navy trousers. The bridge quakes. Slow motion. Anne’s hair wisps into her eyes, she can’t see. She drinks Gilbert. She fills herself with his saliva. Her throat opens upward, her face upward, his face upward, they blink in sun, they are juniper trees and hyacinths, they are praying mantises surrendering, white flags wrapped inside white blood cells, molecules fighting and fucking. Rewind. Gilbert kisses Anne of Green Gables for the first time. She lets him in. She forgets about hesitation. She forgets all the times she hesitated before. She watches his animal step into her living room. It rushes at her, throws her down. She can’t breathe. The house crumbles. Its tongue fights with hers, clacking teeth, tastebuds revel and revolt mastications of once live species. These tongues taste of love and lust and death. They burn when silenced, when affixing themselves to freeze. Rewind. Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time, Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time, Anne of Green Gables kisses Gilbert for the first time. I hump the couch’s arm. I come.
The credits roll.
Felicity Fenton’s multidisciplinary work (social practice, photography, installation) has been featured in public and private spaces around the globe. Most recently, her stories and essays have been featured in Fanzine, Split Lip Press, Wigleaf, The Iowa Review, The Denver Quarterly (forthcoming), and The Masters Review (forthcoming). Her book, ‘User Not Found’ was published by Future Tense Books in December, 2018. By day she works as a Creative Director and is also a Radio Host at Freeform Portland. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Artwork by: Andre Moura