It is hard to remember how not to be embodied. After nearly 40 years of feeling my bones every time I stepped, of pushing breath out from two casks of air, it is unsettling, unusual to be weightless, formless, with meaning but without means. Often, I become so disoriented after the last breath leaves my vessel that I am trapped there, agonizingly, until you die to join me. Those are the times where I occupy myself with remembering every person we've ever been, reading our story in every life it's been written upon.
I've never been a ghost, not really, but there have been instances where I wished so hard to be with you that I was able to break lights or rustle the leaves outside your lodgings, wherever you happened to be in that lifetime, and you would look up and smile, knowing. (I've noticed, quite peevishly, that you've never had this problem when you were the first to die. I would always account this to your natural luck, but you would remind me that luck does not exist, at least not when it comes to disembodiment. You are superior at dying, it would seem.)
I have never had the urge to waste the purgatory of waiting for you on cheap parlor tricks to terrify those I knew in that life: their souls are unconnected to mine, and the transient relationships we shared were happenstance, convenient instances to help us along in whatever lessons we had been given. In the grand scheme of this journey we are taking, their subplots do not interest me in the least. I am focused only on the story of us: why would I pester them, when I could dream of you instead?
Fortunately, we have been erased together this time, and we float aimlessly – amble, if spirits could do such a thing – together in the fog between life and life again. I ache to hold you again, as I have so many times, in so many bodies, but I know there will be opportunities again when we are both back in the flesh.
'Isn't it funny,' you intone in the voice that has no voice, that strange language of intent that only spirits speak, 'that so many souls have not realized that their bodies are irrelevant? They waste so much time hating each other for silly things, and not enough time learning.'
'That's true,' I reply, coloring my words with my affection for you, 'For instance, sexual orientation. Spirits have no gender; we love others for the soul they carry, not for the form they're in. We don't get to choose what body we're given, nor do we get to choose who we love. You and I have been lesbians and heterosexuals and gays and everything in between because that's what we were offered in that lifetime. It means nothing to our love.'
'Exactly,' you reply, a warmth of response that washes over my entity like a soft ocean wave. 'Our love is immortal and infinite. Our bodies are mortal and finite. Our love is eternal; our bodies are provisional. Embodiment is the punctuation in the endless conversation of our love. It is only of transport, not of real consequence.'
'And it's funny, you know,' I respond, 'because the ones that persecute in this lifetime have been persecuted in many lifetimes in the past, and will be persecuted in many lifetimes in the future until the species learns otherwise.'
'How did you get to be so wise?' you laugh – more of a feeling, a vibration picked up than a true 'sound' – and I feel you wind around me, your spirit mingling with mine.
'Spending centuries with the brightest spark in the universe will do that to even the dullest soul,' I intone, to your delight.
'You are always one for flattery, which is fortunate, because I am always one for gratification.'
'Well, expect more of it in the next lifetime, whatever we happen to be.'
'I'm hoping for women again. Even if my soul has no gender, it does have preferences,' you say teasingly. 'Besides, you always look so lovely with –'
'Shush, mani.' Though our souls have no names either, we have picked up nicknames for each other in our eternal love affair; I have always preferred the crystalline beauty of the Middle East, and regardless of where we are born, I often find my way there.
'Of course, sladký.' You have always been drawn to the wild brooding plains of the Czech Republic. I often find you there, when I am the adventurous sort of body, and for that it always feels a little like home to me.
We drift in silence, reveling in a time that has no time, a limitless space of sweetness; together for eternity, even if for only an instant.