When he stumbled across the old photo album while cleaning out his basement he paused because better than anyone he knew the trick: if your opponent is Muhammad Ali, then your best strategy is to simply not get into the ring. But yet…sometimes he just couldn’t help himself, either. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee he whispered inside his head to the ghosts that dwell in dark basements everywhere as he slowly worked the dusty book free from a cardboard box. Sometimes he just couldn’t help himself. He had to look.
How many times had he punished himself like this as he felt that familiar sting (like a bee) when he opened this album? So full of life and beautiful and seventeen she smiled up at him from the first page across a span of thirty-two years in her sundress. He noticed the photograph, despite being locked away in its dark crypt of a cardboard box in the basement, had begun to significantly yellow with age. The photograph was beginning to show the inevitable weathering from the relentless passage of so much time. But yet in the picture… she still looked… the same.
He smiled at those ghosts that dwell in dark basements everywhere. In the photograph she was still so full of life and beautiful and seventeen and he realized for the first time that like that microsecond of the camera flash capturing that moment forever… it all did happen. The photograph in the old album was testimony to that fact. The truth was she was here. She was a part of his life. And in the dusty old photo album that was his heart she would forever still be, living on beautiful and young like in that crystal moment that would forever stand still riding on in the changing winds of time. Floating, actually he realized. Just like the butterfly.