Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Future of Bonfires, One

Lady, I hummed your name first thing in the morning. I suppose the sun was pleased, as did the detritus of dry leaves that lay beneath the sunlight.

The letters of your name, though, still tasted like beer: bitter at the start, which is the exact moment the syllables begin to crawl out of my mouth, until they roll on my tongue like drops of wine I had to sing your name as many times as I can just to be sure that I will be drunk with it for another day.

Where I live, no one ever gets arrested for driving under the influence. Of alcohol. Of nostalgia. Because you do know that I might spend a day or two in jail for breaking the law by having too much of your memories in my body, careening in my arteries like the hemoglobin that reddens the blood, perhaps the heart, and the blush on my face whenever you say my name like a tease as tender as your embrace. That was a long, long time ago.

But after you said I’m sorry do I know you? with that tone I have long associated with your indifference to the many things that I thought were far more important than the possessions we have earned for ourselves, I understood. I understood that by this time tomorrow the sun will never rise the same way again. On the bed, the morning light will cast itself on the same space where a body used to sleep, for such is the nature of separate lives.

I find it rather strange, this thing they call hangover. I’ve had it for ten years now, I think, so I guess I’ve not really been sober lately. There’s no other way to confess it: I drink you like liquor is to liver as you are to my heart. Odd, though. I don’t feel like I have one or the other.

Last week I met a girl. When I went inside the cinema to find myself a seat, there she was, sitting all by herself. The rest of the seats were empty. I sat beside her. I didn’t say a word, nor did she. We were silent for two hours. When the credits rolled and the lights came up, I asked her What are the odds for this movie to be our first and last together? Then for the first time she looked at me and said It doesn’t matter. She smiled and walked away for the rest of my life.

Except, of course, that the rest of my life ended too quickly, because yesterday I met her again. Same time. Same place. Same movie. Same seat. And the same emptiness in the cinema I thought someone somewhere was playing a divine joke I could have died. And then she smiled and called out to me I told you so, it doesn’t matter. She tapped the leather seat and gestured that I take the spot. I did, for at that moment I knew there was no other place I’d rather be.

A few hours ago, she and I made a deal. We are not to see each other again. No calls. No texts. No Facebook messages. We are to let serendipity take its course, perhaps in another cinema, but she on her seat and I beside her, if ever that day comes, for yet again such is the nature of separate lives. But the emptiness of cinemas and of beds will never feel the same as they used to be.

And as the bonfire scatters its last flames to the breeze, I take a swig, but the whiskey still won’t wash your name down my throat. It’s one of those nights when I can do nothing but stare at the miasma of interstellar confusion exploding in the darkness above like an orgasm of the cosmos. Stars have names, too, and I’ve known some of them long enough to merit being forgotten for a while, but in them I remember you. Your name. You’re not even a fixture in the sky. Ever so persistent, the waves flail themselves against the sandy shore before retreating back into the infinite waters. I wish I was a wave, you the undertow to drag me back to where I came from before the embers that light the night turn to ashes.


kae said...

Love-- it's always gonna be there. Might take another form but it's not gonna go somewhere. Nobody who truly loved-- I mean, LOVES-- gets past the 'moving on' part.

SPLICE said...

I agree, because outside of love there is nothing.

kae said...

Man, you are such a romantic! ♥