Monday, June 13, 2011
For months they made plans to kiss the sun at night. To achieve the impossible, attempt the improbable. Hopeless dreamers colluding on hopeless plans and wild ambitions, they fed each other fantasy until both believed that it was real.
It's his desire to meet her. She hasn't a face, a look. She isn't a type; just serious yet funny, plain but full of character; sad and he wants to make her smile. He's had the pragmatic, the time wasters, the shallow and the shifty. This time he dreams hopefully, not hopelessly for the impossible or so it seems.
Then there she is, she makes him weak yet brave. Takes his hand and tells him not to be shy, she gives him confidence and hope. It's been years since he felt so safe, so uninhibited. Yes him, the one with outward self-assurance, he, the one who plies assertion. He who falls and rises, falls and rises, brushes off the dust and begins again. He, damaged by love and betrayal now hardened and aloof. Only she sees the softness inside. Only she pushes beyond the arrogance and guile.
They're hopeless dreamers, hopeless types. Life has been cruel and kind. Given both joy and desperation. Taken those they love, wrended them with heartache and self doubt. They give each other life and breath and love and courage.
He finds it odd that she never invades his dreams despite being a constant in his thoughts. Perhaps allowing her so much cerebral space when conscious, denies her access when he sleeps, if he sleeps. Why wouldn't someone so vital to his existence or so he believes, not appear in his dreams? Why can't he hold her close, warm hearts, warm breath in warm climates. That's what he wants, he and her together, adventurous and on the move. Ambulatory not sedentary, always turning. Like when they finally met. Each day exciting and full even when they did nothing it was as if some great kinesis propelled them forward, effortlessly, one's momentum clicking repeatedly against the other in a wave of perpetual motion.
They embrace at the airport "Don't forget me," her tears on his jacket, "I won't, and thank you." His parting phrase as he walks into the terminal and she out into the sun. She daren't look back and wonders if she'll ever see him again, touch him, smell him. He is the same, walking forward, not looking back. Both knowing that their differences far outweigh their commonalities despite the inextricable entwining of souls. If she believed in souls. Another time, another place? Perhaps it would work. Probably not.
He's broken her cool resolve and doesn't see his impact on her as she undresses, no longer needing to wear the lace and silk, she reaches for flanellette. Who's going to see her, who will notice her beauty scars now that he doesn't share her bed. "Don't forget me," she weeps into the pillow as he sighs into his.
She has conversations with the invisible driving home. Rain beading on the windscreen and the irritating wipe of rubber interrupting her thoughts. "You know this don't feel right . . " she tells him, "Who knows what we feel?" He quips. She reaches over and smoothes the sheepskin car cover where he once sat and retrieves a silver hair.
"I just met you I can read your thoughts and what they tell me is what I want . ." A companion, a traveller, a romantic, an intelligent mind. I want to be your mystery, I want to share your secrets, not your lies." He doesn't answer other than to say, "Your thoughts tell me what you want but I'm not giving anything away, keep guessing . . I'm your mystery," even though he isn't.
She's at the traffic lights, visibility almost zero as the red light dances refracted by the pouring rain. "Light up the stage, make your move, give me something," she begs. But he is silent. He is absent, just the seat, and sheepskin cover and a sad song on the radio as she wells up to match the torrent streaming from the windscreen.
He drives through peak hour traffic, 'This could feel right' . . the lyric plays drowning the other words of sense and rationality. "THIS" could feel right but what is this? "It's a tryste, a fling," she echoes in his head. "It was what it was. Is what it is, nothing more, nothing less." His heart sinks. His memory recalls. Warm days, cool nights, bodies tangled, laughter exchanged, toothpaste shared, small bottles of unimportant unctions collected and left on foreign shores where she retains each one as if their memories are locked within the fragrant contents. "Don't forget me . . " Words spoken by both, heard by neither.
She's cooler now. Matter of fact, reserved when he wants her to light up, feed him something, reassure, reconfirm. She who once danced upon his stage sheds a dimmer light. The rhythm is gone from her song, she no longer plays to his tune. And he laments the loss.
She knows the truth and says aloud though no-one listens, "We know who we are. We know what we are. We know what we had, what we did, what we were" and locks it in her heart.
"Take off your mask, show me what I'm missing." Sometimes when they talk, not often, but sometimes, the mask is torn and the faces they hide remind them both of what was. They reminisce. And yet, they still make plans to kiss the sun at night. Hopeless dreams and best laid plans. "If you come . . " he says, "Of course I will . . ." she hopes.
Plans become what they 'might', rather than what they 'will'. "Sometimes there's no going back," she says. Yet he thinks, "There's always hope." There are always the best laid plans.