50 feet above our heads, perfect blades chopped through the open air. We sat far enough from the freeway that the low hum of wind on metal resonated. “I feel so small,” she always said to me, and so I felt, sitting illegally in a long since harvested corn field, deep into a damp spring with her by my side. I tried to enjoy feeling invisible, even though I knew that the last time we kissed, I would disappear entirely.
If you look west from I-75 south about two miles from exit 181, beyond the horizon of Midwest agriculture turns a set of light grey windmills. They are not a secret, though finding them while returning to school initiates me into the exclusive many who care to search. They used to welcome me home, but now each turn is a perpetual reminder that, while they are dwarfed by their surroundings from a distance, up close they truly are giants.
People I pretend to trust tell me to let go. They point out the obvious–that I’m picky and idealistic. “You just need to take a leap of faith,” they repeat over holiday meals. Apparently, there are a slew of actions I “just need to take” in order to curb their judgment of my love life. What they don’t care enough to find out is that I’m too crippled to leap, and that I left my faith in a muddy field of Bowling Green, Ohio, along with my idealistic dreams of overwhelmingly irrational love.
I took a walk with her once, down a snow covered path plowed by the footsteps of those who, like me, droned through life often without looking. She pointed to a lone tree in the middle of a snow covered canvass which felled the tree and made it stand like a meticulous binary painting on the wall. When she wanted to escape, she told me, she would sit under that tree and marvel at how easy hiding in plain sight could be. Out there, she became merely part of the scenery–an illusion important to no one but those who cared enough to look closely. I always noticed her most when she shrank, or I looked more closely. In ether case, my dreams stood high on easels, then disappeared at every turn.
I took her to the windmills to shrink, hoping that if we were close enough, we might lose ourselves together in the same impervious image. We sat at the base, staring up at the blades, listening to the low hum and saying nothing. Her perfume sparked the towers to life. I tried to hide with her. I tried to protect her from giants and from feeling small and from those who couldn’t find her when she did. I kissed her, dropped her off, and shriveled out of existence.