You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...

-Walt Whitman



HEAD TILTED BACKWARDS, my thoughts moved forward into nothingness. My head was as empty as the bottle of wine sitting on the coffee table in front of me. It felt strange because I am usually burdened with too many things, but not that night; not that moment. Within that gap in time, I was weightless. All was clear. Nothingness. But the ironic part was that in that moment of clarity, my senses seemed to have shut down. I saw a ceiling where shadows of trees danced against the wailing wind. The rain crashed against the windows and poured like bullets on the roof. I perceived the things I saw, the things I heard and smelled, but I couldn’t make sense of them. They just passed through me and into a void, without leaving any trace or echo to validate their existence. What was left was just a blank expanse of quiescence, so potent that it silenced even the roars of thunder brought by the storm. All was clear. All was quiet.

But then from the very center of that clarity, came a rumbling sound. It stemmed from my chest, sending tremors into my throat, posing like drum rolls resounding in the hollows of my consciousness. The blank universe slowly broke and in the center of it all, stood a memory. It revealed itself as a fine dust at first. With no definite shape, its colored particles moved randomly towards everywhere. And then very slowly, it collapsed into itself to form a solid image. It was so beautiful. What stood before me collided with every functioning sense and defied every ounce of reason. Conflicted waves of euphoria washed over me; bittersweet and sharp. I looked at her, memorized every line, every curve. I inhaled every detail like a drug. In an instant I was addicted, detesting anything that could inspire sobriety.

I was smiling under the shadows as I continued to revel in her presence, all the while trying to keep reason at bay. I wanted to pluck her out of my thoughts into the real world. I wanted to open my eyes to see if she’s really there but I didn’t. I was afraid I might lose her if I did. She looked so fragile. My breathing was shallow because even a soft gust of wind could sweep her away. She wouldn’t talk. I couldn’t make her talk. I couldn’t dare to touch her because I didn’t want to break her, all the while fighting the idea that she’s real.

She came back to me that stormy night like a ray of light and lingered for a brief moment. And then she went into shadows, whispering false hope from the dark. Eyes closed, I watched as the details blurred; her smile, her lips, her love. And finally it burst into a puff of smoke, disintegrating, succumbing into nonbeing. She was gone. And as she went, my senses crept back. The alcoholic taste of wine returned on my mouth. The rainwater forged music against everything it touched. The shadows on the ceiling looked like permanent stains I would never be able to scrub away. Thunder bullied the skies. Flashes of light illuminated the night and finally the cold blade of loneliness seeped through.

I longed for how the memory burned inside me. And so I closed my eyes once again, but she wouldn’t appear. Not anymore. The moment of clarity had gone. My mind was once again cluttered, recoiling to its usual chaotic state. They say that the truth is easier than a lie or any form of evasion. It’s easier to deal with; easier to live with. But not this one. No lie or fantasy can break it. There’s no way of evading it or hiding from it. She will always find me, and be with me, without any promise of staying. The truth I was facing was absolute—I fell in love with a memory. And each time I remember; each time I see her face when I think of her, I can’t help but fall…over and over again.

image by copycat_s


jonathan said...

More wine probably? kidding aside, it's a well written description of something we long for unconsciously. Have faith! It will come.

許靜怡 said...