The night was attractive tonight. Her shadows and dark shades concealed the ire on my face as I walked down to Mega Standard Supermarket. She teased with lightening and thunder but only as a big sister would. It wouldn’t rain tonight. It wouldn’t rain because there was already a downpour in my chest. The night was kind enough to let me get home without being beaten by the strokes of the sky.
Hope. I used to remark about it, “Hope never runs dry”. I’d found the statement on a t-shirt my Mom had brought home from her Ministry job. “Hope never runs dry” was the kind of statement that made poets don the Philosopher pose. It sounded like Socrates’ “Nosce te ipsum”. It gave one wings where there seemed to be none, incredible endurance where there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
Tonight though, the phrase had emerged as a hook for line and sinker. Quick sand dressed as impeccable oasis. A brainwashing machine with endless supply of electricity. Hope had turned into limbo, an ignoramus’ paradise, as he waited for the impossible to happen.
“Romantics have one problem,” She said, “…they live too oft in castles in the sky and too rare on the ground that burns”. The night decided I needed more salt in the wound as her words became louder.
“You live on words like ‘hope’, ‘patience’, ‘future’, ‘maybe’, ‘if’, while they turn into ulcers in your soul, making you bitter and resentful and angry, unable to live now.”
She seemed to be getting into her element with these words but I was sinking lower and lower.
“Sometimes you have to see things as they are. Hopeless. Fools’ errands. And accept that if you follow these hopeless routes and errands you become a hopeless fool.”
I got into the house quickly, threw my bag down and sat back arched on my bed. Maybe she’d have a little pity and stop.
“There’s no pity here, son. You deserve what was coming to you. You have a brain for gossake, you-se it!”
I’d become invisible. I was there, in the everyday of the tears she hid behind a perfect smile. The cello-tape I used when I found her heart shredded was not as sticky as it once was. Nope. It was there but becoming more and more flimsy. Peeling off, falling off, pinched away because the mending was semi complete. Or at least I told myself that. (Refer to Lynn’s The Pain of the Familiar)
“She never felt those things, son. Don’t avoid it.”
I was invisible. She wouldn’t throw me away because I had blended in. I had seen her and was like a part of her. Maybe the others saw the perfect girl, maybe they saw the Harley Quinn and accepted her. The fact is I had seen her. I was there when shit hit the fan and sprayed itself all over her. I caught some of it on my face. Before wiping it away – before cleaning herself up – I chose to hold her instead. (Refer to Lynn’s The Pain of the Familiar)
“Your eyes were open, son. You were looking for martyrdom. You were looking for wages!”
What if I was? What if I believed, even for a time, that love was patient?
“Then you forget that love is kind and doesn’t envy.”
What if I didn’t forget and hoped she knew it too?
“Then you forgot it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
But didn’t you just talk about empty words like hope?
“Not if you protect, trust and persevere. The problem with you son, is you live in the air. This was never love to begin with.”
The night was mocking me now, turning my Discipleship class lessons into guilt trips. I had believed that stuff because that’s all they said, they never taught me how to ground my feet. I lived in the air for the longest time, as they told me to pray and wait for my time. Hope. Hope had closed my eyes and slowed my brain. While many found their feet, I found more sand.
“Never love to begin with.”
Leave me alone you goddamned shadow.
“Son, there is hope and false hope. There is truth and there is imagination. There is love and there is ‘I’. ”
I sat silently on my bed. After saying all I had to the poor damsel last night, I realised this was all me, no love. Love had died somewhere along the way. And I did not have the strength to resurrect it. I slid under my covers and waited for the night to sing her lullabies.
“My love is at the edge
Edge of the ocean
She sings to me a tune…
Come to the sea
Come and cross me
We’ll reach the other side” (Siren’s Song – Jon Foreman)