I am counting the seconds…
While laying here on your narrow bed.
It feels like a forever has passed since I woke up and yet you are still in the dream world… Probably chasing the ghosts of the past or getting spooked by unclear and formless illusions of the future.
Time and space are dancing with the regular specks of dust, creating thick heaviness in the room that is grounding my chest and locking me down. Yeah, and because of that I can’t get up and leave. Probably because of that. Most certainly. Not.
I’m staring at the ceiling now.
You are facing the wall.
Just our air-grasping diaphragms are moving. Repeating up and down motion through our entire lives.
I raise my pointing finger up and start drawing fruits of imagination on your dirty white ceiling. Little creatures and whatnot.
Carving them in really carefully…
I bet you’ll never notice them and yet they’ll stay here forever. Watching after you… For me.
Oh… My hand just gives up and starts falling – it can no longer fight this chaotic and dense mixture in the air. At the exact moment when it comes into collision with the bed, you start waking up.
Still, it takes a forever later, for you to open your eyes. But once you do, the room starts slowly getting filled with your presence. Pushing the dust, space and time out through the tiny crack in the window, which is just in front of my bare, cold feet.
I stare into your eyes.
You stare into mine.
I close my eyes while you touch my hair.
Let me soak into you…
I don’t talk much. You don’t too.
You see? You’re so close.
And each day you get one step closer. To a tiny piece of armour.
Isn’t there a tiny shield between our hearts? Protecting us from the instability and the overbearingness of raw emotions.
We are tiptoeing a lot around each other. This fragile dialogue between our hearts and souls is still indefinably charming.
Alarm disrupts us. I am hesitating but finally, I get out of the bed, leaving behind you and wrapped up in a thick blanket. Before closing the doors, I smile at the creatures above your head and you. But here you are just laying there and facing the wall again. Occupied with chasing the ghosts and formless illusions.
If only you knew the things that happen when I’m with you without you.
There’s a girl sitting in the corner of this family run cafe that I am a regular at. The coffee here is really great. Ethiopian kind and always brewed to perfection with a refreshing acidity and sweet stone fruit undertones. I usually pop by to read a book and have a cup of espresso on sluggish Sunday mornings since my place is nearby. And today I came with the intentions of carrying out the ritual, except, somehow… I very nearly failed to do so.
Well, first of all, It seemed that the typical, nonchalant atmosphere that filled the room was replaced with curiosity sparked by the corner girl instead. Her drink caught my eyes particularly. I took a notice of her at the moment when she started lifting a Bavarian teacup decorated with blue roses towards almost-inconceivably opened lips. I never saw anyone drink from such a peacocky tableware here, I swear, and that really started to rack my brains. So, as a simpleton that I am, I just decided to order what she’s having, hoping to feed my brains with some answers to vague and formless questions.
“Can I have one of those?” I tried subtly pointing towards the lady when Luke, the barista, asked for my order.
“Sure” he only lukewarmly smiled, almost as if he knew what I was up to.
He took off right away and I just went back to investigating the stranger. When the peach-coloured pillows of mouth reached the riff – she stopped for a millisecond and then proceeded to carefully sip from the, what it seemed to be the most fragile, porcelain cup.
She, and now I, are having “salted sakura tea”, as Luke points out while putting down the same flashy cup on my table a few moments later. “Wow,” I think out loud, and by the way, that’s the irony in me reacting. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was just a tiny, pinkish petal drowning in a cup of boiling-hot water. And here I am, still staring at the mysterious woman. I guess by doing that I’m hoping to figure out the taste of the pretentious tea before going in for the kill. Can’t explain the precaution, though, as I am a bit of a daredevil by a rule of thumb. It’s just something’s off with the cup and with the colourless tea and the girl too. All of it feels like a flaky love letter to 80s.
What mostly throws me off is that this unfamiliar corner habitat seems confused or rather unfocused (you see I’m terrible at recognising other people’s emotions) on the taste of the tea. She has her gaze locked on the greenery in the opposite corner of the coffee shop instead.
“Is she seeing something that I’m not?” I attempt to take a better look at the flora…
The harmony of the greenery and the shadow-striped floor fabricated by the window jalousie stops my thoughts for a moment… For a brief second, or perhaps even longer, my entire body – limbs, knuckles, nerve system, and soul (if you believe in one), gets swallowed by the overwhelming calamity and nothingness… I dissolve within the scene.
Then a life or a few minutes later,
I’m being brought back to senses and back to my consciousness by a very light and fragile, almost cherry-like fragrance coming from the direction of the cup. I look down and the sakura petal is somewhat obscurely fluttering within the crystal clear water. As if it is about to reach a metamorphosis, a transcendence of some sort. Perhaps it is diffusing too? Or… Am I witnessing a teacup storm here?
The corners of my mouth go up. I chuckle on my own like a proper cuckoo case. On these rare occasions of the cognitive shift, when the dialogue between my conscious and unconscious minds change and when the triple threat – ego, id, and superego – disappear… I become part of something bigger, or rather, I understand the smallness and precious ridiculousness of ‘myself’. “Was I experiencing an ‘overview effect’ just now? Was that… the aroma of the tea?”
Suddenly, I knock out of it to realise that I’m still looking at this sakura-tea girl. I catch her watching me watching her. Well, my eyes are open and it seems that I’m looking her way when in ‘reality’ I was looking at the entire universe just now.
She timidly smiles and goes back to analysing the flora and fauna of the cafe.
“Were there actually two of us fusing into space?” I mutter to myself.
Fuck, I wonder why these days every stranger clouds my mind with stardust?
I decide to finally try the salted sakura tea and It tastes like nothing, with a bit of salt.
Before opening my book and landing back on the planet, I ordered a cup of espresso.
I cannot get away.
From the sea,
From seeing things,
From scanning you,
From diverting my gaze,
From catching yours,
From keeping silent,
From breaking silence,
From the turbulence,
From tremendous thinking,
I cannot keep my mind occupied anymore.
As I’ve been thinking of you.
Hey. It’s been awhile. Yes, yes I know… We said we’ll keep in touch. But having in mind our past cases – we already could foresee what’s going to happen for us. In fact, it wasn’t even that hard, predicting the cards, I mean. I guess my dream of becoming a freelance-fortuneteller has somewhat worked out, right? (millionaire freelance-fortuneteller is the next title I’m working on)
I want to see how long did your hair grow? I cut mine entirely. Can you imagine? Just chopped it off… Like That!
Do you know I have two alien tattoos now? The first one… Well, I was kind of a-little-perhaps-a-lot drunk for the first one, but can you imagine that the second was planned? Yup, Intentional, with the capital I, where the I in it was maybe a little tipsy the night when the decision was made. I’m still full of surprises… And, of course, alcohol. Nothing’s changed in that department. Good old whiskey, gin & wine recruitment agency is busy as ever.
What’s next… Oh, a smiley piercing. Yup, that too. It’s such a teenage rebellion cliche, but I guess my age nullifies the whole banality thing. I’m still a cool cucumber. (as cool as a person that uses ‘cool cucumber’ in a sentence gets),
Physical changes aside, did I tell you about my shifting locale? I lived in Japan for awhile and officially became a Buddhist there (they gave me a diploma).
My Sweet baby ramen, I miss you.
Stayed with monks and climbed many many mountains… It was breath-taking and sometimes lonely (climbing in silence with no one around can be intimidating) but most of it was adventurous. I would love to tell you more about it, but it deserves a whole another story. I’ll keep it for later. For that wine & cheese night that we usually do. I mean did… But maybe will do once again too?
And what did I tell you? The recruitment agency always means business. CHINK
How much time has passed already?
I forgot to count. 1 time, 2 times, 3 times… Well, logically and grammatically this sentence does not even make sense. One does not simply count time in units. But whatever the case – it still feels like it’s at least 100s times passed the last time I saw you.
I remember saying goodbye. In fact, we didn’t do much. It was more like an exchange of a couple blinks, smiles, fluctuating voice tones and hand waves. This lame order finalised our many years together. We should be more dramatic, that way I could at least squeeze up a good story to tell. With what we have I can only scrape an ‘end’ and a ‘story’. NUTTIN MUCH, YA KNOW.
Seas, mountains, hair, tattoos and loads of other stuff are becoming part of an evidence that I will be held against you. Evidence of time passing. Because I told you, it’s uncountable. Time is fluid. Unstoppable. Running. Melting and diffusing.
So I thought, maybe… Maybe, at least, I can show you.
Hey, it’s been awhile.
The bittersweet taste of wine dries my already sore throat. You see… it is hurt from the dozens of cigarettes that I smoked today. And of course, there’s a nosebleed with the rest of the problem wagon, telling me to quit bad habits. I ended up pushing table napkins down the nostrils aggressively, almost with the strength of a mining man trying to escape being buried several feet underground in a shaft.
Yes, these bibs were used as if my life depended on it and I guess my anxiety is to be blamed here. It makes me slightly overreact. But somehow unpolished roughness of my actions suited this run-down pub. What do you think…? Even the person sitting next to me didn’t blink. You’d be surprised what you can see at this rat’s hangout. Speaking of which, the old man is chugging down a second in a row glass of Spiced Morgan’s with rocks to the top. The fellow must have it hard, yet every sip he takes eases the pain away or perhaps just relaxes his face muscles. Numbness feels nice, I understand.
I always see the weirdest bunch in here. I can even put a wager that the interior matches each of our moral compasses. And as you guessed it, this place looks like a horse’s shit. Even more, smells like one.
Just look at what we have at the left corner circle booth. Those two ladies asked for the cheapest Sauvignon Blanc on the menu. Nothing bad with that, we all barely have green in our pockets, but I say choose something real if you’re drinking at this place. Wine is clearly outdated, but it went unnoticed. Rob (manager/owner/bartender and chef) rarely enjoys an occasion of opening a new bottle and the last time I checked – only a single one has been opened for a couple of weeks now. Minus the pretentious hags, others just admit reality and live peacefully with their stench: drinking all sorts of nonsense without even taking the flies out.
This all-encompassing blob of a phase leaves me lurking, talking to you. But a couple of Tullamore’s and I will shut you up for today. Sorry, you are a bit annoying sometimes. I really just enjoy being numb to people, to the breath-taking and sometimes ugly surroundings and noises that are passing me by in the slowed and more often forwarded motion.
Is that guy next to me choking or coughing? How funny… No one even lifted their heads, except Robert, but he looks kind of pissed. I hope this guy is not planning to die here. I don’t know what the old guy could do to a dead person, but I believe he could come up with something. creative. Like a little haunt for the rest of his life on the other side?
Haha – Came out loudly.
But as I thought, not a single glance towards me.
I wonder if a lack of sensation is a twisted outcome of growing-up? Throw a kid or two in this place and we would get totally different reaction to the freak show.
Oh, what the hell… This nose of mine started bleeding again and now it feels like my chest is carrying a weight of a grown-up man. The one who goes to a gym every other day and lifts loads, chugs down protein shakes and rounds it up with a t-shirt free selfie.
Am I a mad woman? Feverish, yet empty. A collection of clashes. I stopped for a second whatever I was doing. To take a breath and light up another cigarette… To find myself almost throwing up. I was far overdoing my limits, overdosing my capacities. This empathy was somewhat pleasing and I guess that kind of saddened me for a second.
Oh, here it is. An emotion and it is usually followed up with a shutdown.
I guess I’m/you’re drowning. Please, just have a single breath left somewhere in you/me. I/you will need it to find my way back home. Before you/I go, check the face. Does our grin look at ease?
The built up tension and your hand brushing my hip, gliding down the spine and resting on the arched back.
It is warm, so warm that we are bound to fall for each other, all of us, 20-someones. Even if it’s for a short time, even if it is for the swimming season. For those three months, we are more attracted, more thirsty. We enjoy this heat.
Climb up, jump around, lay on top of each other, breathing deeply and drinking coke with ice. Extra ice with shaved ice cream.
Your blue eyes and washed off cream in the background of the sea. Sand in between wet hair stripes, toe nails playing with the heart strings.
Full moon, half moon, night.
High eyes. Sleepy eyes. Ecstatic flight.
Bronze skin and wet eyelashes.
I catch your eyes catching mine.
I would like to keep you,
for some time.