Maybe, in our very beginning, we were born from flint. When hit, we’d spark, and a new idea would burn its way into the forefront. The fire would consume everything around it, swallowing the sticks we built up, the passions we created, and the leftover bits we could muster with the strength of two hands. Sometimes, we admit, it’d smoke more than flare, and other times rain would fall and we would fall with it. But in between the most ravenous flame and the eventual smoldering of ashes, we’d try brightening up a world that finds itself in the dark half the time.
Or at least, that’s what I tell myself when I try to remember you.
Day 1: I’m not a person that mistakes a cigarette skipping across the highway for a shooting star, but that day, I wished things were different. It was what she said. The way she said it. Goodbye. It was final. And now, I am caught trying to drive to wherever that is.
Day 2: I am sitting in a classroom that clatters like a cricket’s ballad. Or maybe it’s tap-dancers clacking away in clown shoes. Either way, the lecture drags on and I can’t help thinking of how if I connect the dots on the freckles of the professor’s face, I’d be nowhere closer to her.
Day 3: The first time I found myself at her house, it was because of happenstance. The second time, the stance was happening because we were kissing by choice, not by drunken desire. I’m not sure what I liked more because if I think about it, you were my own sloppy seconds, and I couldn’t help but want more.
Day 4: I think it defies common ecology, but you had roses outside your window throughout the year. Of course you had to; I never questioned the crisp poetry of it all. But that day when it snowed, and we wiped the window in an attempt to see the snow-globe outside, a fully bloomed red rose greeted us instead. I’m sure the Shakespeare budding at my fingertips wanted to write in a mist of handwriting, “A rose by any name would smell as sweet,” but you smelt like pineapples and strawberries mixed in a tidal wave.
Now, so do roses.
Day 6: I couldn’t write yesterday. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I listened to that CD you made me. It was entirely clichéd. The Beatles. The Smiths. A band I hadn’t heard of but you promised me I would love. We were always a poster for romantic comedies, not matter how many times we told ourselves we weren’t. So I guess, like them, we were destined to end. A film only lasts so long, and even a CD must end at sometime. The one you gave me ended after one hour and sixteen minutes. Ours ended much longer than that. Yet here I am, trying to hum both.
Day 8: These sentences are memories of what you told me to forget. I’m trying to find a way to describe it but my hand is cramped and my page is wet and all these words, all these sentences, are my blood.
They drip your name.
Day 8 and ½: For the last eight days, my world was torn. But then I thought of something, and I needed to write it down during the night at a time that I had long forgotten existed: We wear our lives like costumes. Nine to five. Waking up day in and day out. Average. That’s how we are. That’s how I was born into the world. And that’s how it was going to be with you. We’d get married. We’d have kids. We’d create a life around each other. We’d know each other’s failures and successes, our idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities. We’d eventually grow old, wrinkled, and worn. Maybe from each other. Or maybe from the absence of one another. Either or, we’d wake up one day – after our marriage, after our first kid, after graduation, after retirement – and we’d realize that we were not lovers any longer. We were family, and that scares me.
Day 9: I haven’t slept, and sometimes, I think that’s better. There is no refuge in sleep. It was you who told me to try to find some truth in the world, and I think that I’ll die before I do.
Day 10: Truth – I have found one. Death. We all die. Because in truth, in the most important truth of all, life is just a beautiful, short, little lie. It means nothing. Not against the Universe. Not against the stars. Worlds can blow up. Galaxies can disappear. We are a proverbial fart in the wind. It all means nothing. These words. That sentence. You. Me. All of it.
I guess that’s why I love you. Because in a world of nothingness, you try to find the first something, and I found you first.
Day 11: I lost you too – you’d remind me of that. But yesterday while writing, that seemed less important than trying to weigh my existentialism. I was always selfish. Even now, I am writing about myself instead of you.
You. When you whispered the few Buddhist chants you knew, I knew I wasn’t a regular guy anymore. I was a kid on his birthday being told his wishes would come true. When you said my name, I wasn’t just a man. I was a baby again because I entered the world in your arms. And when you left me, I wasn’t Kacper anymore. I was a gorilla hurling his hands to catch a firefly.