This is for those moments left unfinished; those pauses where I still ponder what wonders could of cascaded from your lips, those wishful moments spent lost in between your eyes and your nose, and those fingerprints left on your skin like a pilgrim leaving a trail of stones. It is for when you asked me “whether a house without any tenants is a home” and the endless footsteps from my front door. It is for those days when you held my hand and I felt the sweat dabbed on your palm and I thought I could see my reflection in your skin-laden well. The time when you fell off the tree we had carved our names into, broke your arm, and said you still loved me. For days when we stayed nestled in the protection of each other’s arms. Nights when you stood up on the phone long enough to hear me snore. It is for then and for now and for what always will be. It is a love story.
As I write this, I am under no illusion you still remember how many freckles I have on my back nor what my middle name is. Your excuse would be you had a bad memory. Mine would be you just never bothered to remember. You’d throw back that you had A.D.D. I’d throw back in a mockery of your self-diagnosis, “No. You just don’t give two shits.” You never did. You were always silly.
So was I. So silly, in fact, that I thought the heart was an organ. I was told it supposed to be made from muscle, not china. The blood that flowed through was supposed to be warm, not cold. Most of all, it was supposed to beat on its own, not wait for you to make it beat.
This is for those things too: waiting and not giving a shit. It is for tears left unchecked on your cheek, and the silent wallowing of a boy into the navel of an ear, “Remember, remember.” It is for forgetting. For times where life flew by without regard to who was living, and clocks ticking away from the both of us, and for deciding that the only reason we inhale is to exhale life into one another. It is for forgetting how to breathe. It is for being a superstitious atheist ever since you said that the only person who lets you down more than God is me. It is for not believing in either. For moments lost in a never ending speechlessness where words, when they escape the labyrinth of our vocal cords, are guillotined by our unbridled disappointment. It is for heart breaks, regrets, and happily never-afters. It is for what wasn’t and for what isn’t and for what never will be. It is a love story.
Despite the moments we shared – as magical they may be – we have been crushed under the weight of reality and the undying truth that all magic is but an illusion. Only with a sleight of hand, and a flicker of a heart, can love flourish. That’s why a bushel of roses are both the trademarks of a lover and a magician. Both require magic tricks. One comes from a hidden compartment in the sleeve, the other from behind a back. Both are magical but the latter is more dangerous for a smile arises from an otherwise sullen face, arms lovingly wrap around like a boa constrictor with its prey, and a heart thumps ever more confidently, ever more ardently, and ever more.
Soon after, one begins to trust the magic trick. They ask to see it again and again. “More flowers, more flowers!” They shout. So the magician continues to spawn flowers from the nothingness of his back. One day, however, they – the lover – asks to see behind the magician’s back. It’s not that she is suspicious if the apparition of flowers is a trick or not, nor is she worried of the ramifications of creating something out of nothing, but she is concerned because for the last few months the magician hasn’t been producing the same voluminous, animated flowers he used to. The flowers he measles out now are wilted and gray.
Can they even be called flowers? No. Instead, they are plastered face of a whore; a piece of abstract art splattered with seagull’s shit. When asked what the meaning behind the piece is, the answer is, “Well, shit.” It was the lover who said that one day. It was fittingly sunny. The lover found out the there was no magic behind the back of the magician, just an illusion. To her, it was like finding out the sun – the beacon of light on humanity’s planet – is just an illusion too: it has dark side. As it turns out, the flowers the magician gave her were never flowers, even when they were in full bloom.
Instead they were mistakes upon mistakes of a blossoming promise that couldn’t quite survive in the soil of his palms. They were the lies that shoot out like arrows aiming for the place in between the heart and brain. They were the entertainment to an audience of one when there are two actors on the stage. One actor talks. The other listens. Then, silence. They were a production of nothingness; a demolition of something.
Now, they are dead. But do not fret for soon all things die, even magicians. When this happens, the act fades, the flowers are forgotten, and empty chairs remain. No one applauds. No one shuffles. No one was ever there. It was a house without a home.
It was a love story.