Sunday, August 08, 2010
4:52 AM |
Float Like a Feather in a Beautiful World
I must learn to hold this thought, this memory of a Saturday night, sheathed as it was in the subtlest of pain. But what a word. I hesitate to call it "pain." Perhaps it was just selfishness, perhaps not. But it was the first full weekend of August, my birthday month, and I had felt so utterly abandoned.
The day had gone well, much to my surprise. But it was the night itself that made me teeter on some form of grieving, as if I had lost things, as if I had nothing
to begin with and I was merely fooling myself. Was it that I watched a movie alone? Fine.
I had planned it that way anyway. But later on, to text friends and to have no one answer back ... It felt ridiculous. As if I had become an interloper, an unwanted speck in the wind, synonymous with the void, and everybody else had lives of their own shielded from all my wants.
I went to a jazz concert later that night but could not get in. They had, so they said, no change for the bill I was waving to their face. I stood there for a long time in the entrance, unsure suddenly of what to do, where to go. A few feet away, the music was already wafting like some strange invitation -- and yet there I was, unable to get in.
And then of course I would see him there. Right near the entrance. Like some ghost. He was tall, he was easily seen. I thought, So he has arrived home finally from that place in Indochina.
His sister beside him said hello like the twinkling universe. He didn't. He stood there like stone, and afterwards when he passed by me to seek something outside, it was as if I were the invisible air.Was this how it was supposed to turn out? The nuances of an eight-month love affair's end turned to silence and unseeing?
It was more than I could take. I raced home. Yet I did not want to be home. I grabbed a book -- Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty
-- and raced to a downtown restaurant, which was sure to be open for the rest of the night. I did not want to be alone, even if it meant being in the middle of complete strangers. When midnight came, only a scattering of us were left to the devices of our little worlds: some studied, I pretended to read. I felt myself drifting, floating.
And I thought, so suddenly, that it was some strange comfort to know that by the end of this month, I shall be somewhere else far away from this place, where people I know would not see me. It was the only kind of invisibility I craved.
I don't belong here. Not home. Not home when the sight of it bleeds the heart, and all that one has left is the aching breathing that stands for whatever remains of whatever life this is supposed to be.
Labels: life, love
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