Light is faster than sound, that’s why some people seem brilliant before you can hear them talking…
Love… the “climb any mountain, ford any stream” love… the shouting in undying passion for his love kind of love… that sweet and sticky kind of love…
Why was this significant? Well, he was a love-hater just merely half a year ago. He was that person who would roll the eyes at someone like him now, and just say: “Get over it already!!!”.
In fact, he did. He definitely said that very loud to real people in public. Worse yet, he said it to some of his closest friends. His utter disdain for public displays of affection was both ferocious and adamant. Romance felt like a construct rather than an extension of emotional expression. Love seemed like an obligation, a constant game of one-upmanship where the stakes just get higher. Love. What the hell is love, anyway? It’s just a word.
What was it, you might wonder, that turned him into such a bitter curmudgeon at such a (relatively) young age? Same old story, I guess – he’d been in a good number of relationships, many of which left him so heartbroken it was hard to pick himself off the floor. After a particularly bad year, it was enough. He removed his heart from his sleeve and tossed it. It just wasn’t worth it.
Sure, since then he had other rendezvous. He even said the big “L” again, though it was more calculated, measured, and guarded. Love was something that could be rationalized. Marriage was something that could be brokered. Everything occurred in its due course, was controlled, and was expected.
Everything… except this.
He was in a rather deep denial over how badly the last relationship had hurt him and proclaimed, nearly the next day after the breakup, that he didn’t give a damn and that he was over it. The breakup, while not his idea, was just the due course of the relationship. Though he had plotted it differently, he rationalized it would have ended eventually, and she had been gracious enough to do him a favor. His love and him, they connected then, while he was stoically broken and when he still thought he knew all the answers. He dismissed her, back then, since he would need to grieve for the prescribed time (mathematically, it is half the time you were with someone, but he figured that he should be good in about six months, give or take). He told her that it wasn’t going to go anywhere. He saw other people. He even ended it with her. It just wasn’t in his logical and methodical equations. He explained to himself the significance of the break. Over those many heartbreaks, he realized that using “let’s break up” as fighting ammo just isn’t cool. To combat this, he’s implemented the “a break is a break” rule, meaning that if she breaks up with him (or vice-versa), then there was a damned good reason to do it. No looking back. A break is permanent.
So, when he ended it with her, he really had no intention of ever seeing her again. Ever. But something odd had happened. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. But there was so much fear. So much fear that something would go wrong. Well, he called “fear” “reality.” After all, she was German. He was American. She – here for just a few more months. He had a job here in Chicago, with no potential to transfer elsewhere. Where the hell can a relationship with limited time go? To the short-term-no-commitments bin, and that’s where he tried to keep it.
Maybe she found him at just the right time in his personal quest of self-exploration. Maybe they were so compatible that everything was just what love is supposed to be. Maybe, just maybe, there is no explanation, because that’s what love is, something irrational that just kind of happens. Whatever it was, it was as though his heart melted – literally. He hates such cheesy metaphors; he would apologize for all those cynics out there – don’t forget, he was you!). It was as though he’d put his heart in a cryogenic freezer and then took it out, just in time to be warmed by this beautiful and amazing woman.
Regardless of what it was, he couldn’t stay away from her for long. He invited her to the L Stop launch party, where he had convinced himself it would just be a hook-up. At Thanksgiving, he specifically skipped out on plans elsewhere to cook her a traditional meal, convincing himself that it was just that he was showing her a true American T-day. No, there wasn’t a possibility that he actually liked the girl. What’s done is done. No looking back.
Something, though… something was different. He felt his pulse quicken. “Breathe, breathe, get it under control,” he thought. Her perfume lingered in his car after she left and his pulse raced. His thoughts wandered off to her during the day. His heart beat uncontrolled within his chest, it felt like anxiety. But it felt so much better than anxiety. Damn? What the hell was going on with him?
Fortunately, though, he was too intoxicated with her to think straight. He had blurted out things like, “Why don’t you come over (again) tonight” before he could think them through. His poor roommate had to listen to “Why the hell do I like her?” over and over again while he picked at the teeny tiniest minuscule faults wherever he could manage to imagine them. This eventually morphed to, “Why can’t I STOP liking her” and eventually an all-out, “Oh GOD, I think I’m in LOVE with her”.
All the reasoning in the world couldn’t rationalize this away. In fact, despite their separate nationalities, there was no legitimate reason holding them apart. He could always move to Germany; she could move here, she had an in-demand job that could always warrant her work visa, maybe no marriage needed. She was smart, funny, gentle, and crazy hot – what the hell was there not to love?
Well, after leaving behind his own hangups, and letting it just all unfold with no plan…it turned out there was nothing not to love. Was it…was it that he was just too scared to try love again? Scared? Him? But, it turns out he was. He kept thinking that this wonderfully amazing woman would just walk out of his life (and really, he had given her plenty of reasons to).
But he let it all go and decided to put it all on the line. Instead, with a shaky voice, while they snuggled on the couch, he leaned over to her ear. Just as much because he was scared he’d mess it up in German as he was scared to say it out loud, he whispered:
“Ich liebe dich”.
1100 words, Adela Galasiu 2012
agitated life, hectic every day
fast love, fast food, no dreams…
it was love at first sight
when she first laid her eyes on them…
she waited and waited to order them
but then fear took over her
that they might sell out …
today she finally bought them.
they remind her of
that rock candy she used to eat when she was a child…
she visualizes them with a vintage sweater
and tattered denim…
such a pretty shoe,
the crystal embellished sandals
filling her mind with sweet memories…
she’s head over heels for them!
days have passed with a crazy velocity… most of the friends that she managed to make in the year have left. she finally unpacked her suitcases, cleaned the whole apartment, disappointed that all changes so quickly… fortunately she was not left completely alone. there still was someone for the next three weeks, someone to drink coffee with and a companion for concerts….
… concerts.. yes, all those concerts… yesterday glass and smith. there was strike again, she had to walk again, she walked the distance between four subway stations in the heat of the ending day, suffocating heat, thinking to take a taxi to return after the concert because the area was creepy… she arrived two hours too early, there were only ten peaple ahead of her(including a sixty years old lady with short hair , blue and white strands and the biggest tattoos that she has ever seen… on the right leg a huge violet grape, on the right foot the tattoo was so abstract that it seemed impossible to realize what it was meant to represent…)
this time the concert was at odeon, in the smallest of the two amphitheatres… about 1000 people but clearly the most various public she had ever seen attending a concert… with curious eyes she explored the faces and dresses and people and made herself an idea about the everything… sitting in the second row, she was very close to the stage, next to two girls that were smiling and talking about their sexy fifty years old literature teacher sitting in the first row…the guy was looking like one of the teachers of philip roth….
and it all begun well and ended wrong… patti smith is the perfect voice for ginsberg’s poems and it would have been just marvellous if she would not have started talking on her own, expressing her own ideas… at the end a big group of vintage enthusiasts run in front of the stage bothering everybody … they have started screaming happily “people have the power” raising their fists and militating as if right that very moment they were about to start a new revolution….
but of course, this disappointment did not spoil the rest of the concert for her. she adored philip glass from the first moment, thinking that he deserves a title of nobility like “Sir”… she adored him from the moment he said in a very elegant french that he was about to play… by metamorphosis two she was already holding her breath since she could only hear the piano and the crickets….
conclusion: she should better read ginsberg on her own, and she deffinitely must see philip glass one more time, in one of his concerts alone… and if cohen and glass (and ginsberg) all met in the buddhist ideas, there must be a reason. she alone was convinced she is not compatible with that inner peace for which the western people find no words, but she would have loved at least once to try it…
when she returned she found no taxi… among thousands of curses said in her mind in the honour of the greatness of the French nation and her strikes, after ten minutes of fast walking , she noticed with de corner of her eye the pencil tower from part-dieu, exactly in the opposite direction that she was supposed to follow to get back home… she returned , passed again in front of the same arab merchant sleeping on his chair… she and her lovely 70s dress that she wore especially for ginsberg… maybe if she would not have wore this dress it would not have all ended in this hippie apocalypse…
she arrived home cursing the country she declared one of idiots and the idiots that strike all the time and also herself, the greatest idiot, for not being capable, not even at her age, to learn how to ride the bicycle.
Shadow by my side always
Am I a lunatic?
Sounds of a scintillating music
Am I insane?
Hypnotic words on paper
Am I sleeping?
Vermillion clouds at sunrise
You’ve been in my dream
Am I awake?
Rumpled body, swollen lips
Am I crazy?
Or this is the only sanity?
no passing of time
fades the memory of us.
I still feel her.