Keen to See It All, Missing Only the Essential

I had a crush on your mind since I first walked through your doors, all marked Private. I liked what I found inside and didn’t think twice about the signs. Looking around hungrily, I pictured throwing out the locks, getting the Welcome Home mat out and, maybe, tidying up that corner. How did this happen? It’s simple, baby. I fell in love, hard, fast, at a time when I would have eaten love raw and off the floor if I’d seen it. And there you were, walking towards me. Making me feel wanted, when I wanted nothing more. You opened up a little and I thought it was a whole lot. You had gentle manners and rough edges and you showed me the world like I had never seen it before. I inhaled everything with the greed and thirst of someone who had never been on the bright side of life before.

And no surprise, for you switched on the light, and switched on the light, and switched on the light. You just made everything so much brighter. My eyes were burning, but I was fascinated. I wasn’t sure if it meant anything, sure. But it was something, and something was so much better than nothing that, well, it just had to be everything after some time. I wanted to play, too. I had never played with so much light before. I wanted to bring the saturation all the way up, until colour was all I saw, until colour hurt my eyes, until I could never look away. I never wanted to look away. My mind was on fire, slowly burning through all the years of sweet nothings before you, making space for the new memories in the making. And my heart, oh, my heart. A fireball rolling dangerously into your direction, throwing off sparks they called young love. How I loved seeing what it could do. Didn’t you?

You didn’t. You tried to warn me when you saw it coming, but at that point it was coming in full force. I didn’t even respond. I didn’t even really listen. I just nodded in your direction, and let my flames grow bigger when you smiled back. You see, baby, I liked your strength, your roughness, and your darkness. I liked your focus, your presence, and your intensity. I liked how you wanted things, went for them, and got them. I liked how I was one of them. I liked how much you wanted me, for that split of a second in time. How close it felt to infinity. How close I felt to infinity. How close you felt. There was nothing for me to like more. I never questioned why you wanted me to pay more attention. I just thought you had more to show me, and I was keen to see it all. I missed only the essential.

You came and went in episodes, but there was nothing worth remembering from the times in between, so I forgot everything just as it happened. This bright, vivid side of life you brought me to was the only thing in focus, and I was breathing it in like the world was running out of air. When you weren’t, waking up was for diving into daydreams that would never happen, but little did I know when everything seemed just on the very edge of happening. Images of us were flashing through my mind at all times. I have no other memories from those days, they all just blur together in the background. Chilly autumn evenings with you, lattes and limos in square markets with you, the particular look to your eyes (a kind of heaviness), my heart skipping so many happy beats when it was with you. You, you, you. Day, night, day, night, day, night. August, December, April…

The world is back as it was before you, bland and colourless. I’d imagine what things would look like if they were still illuminated, but I can’t. The sparks inside me have gone off and the rest of me has gone quiet. I don’t know where to get all the light you had inside you. I didn’t have enough time in your rooms to figure you out. I struggle with the voice, too. I can’t brighten up a room and I have nothing to say to it. I wonder how you did it. I don’t think you know how you did it. You never mentioned it and seemed surprised at the thought. Sometimes, I’m not even sure you did it. I had this crazy thought that maybe it was all me. Maybe I’d never seen myself on fire before, and I didn’t know what it looked like. Maybe my happiness burns so bright that it made you glow – and I was only looking at you. Maybe my enthusiasm burns so bright that it eventually set the world on fire. They’re just maybes.

When it gets really dark, I try to remember how I saw the world when I was in it with you, but the memories are starting to slip away. They’re fading into the background too, mixing with everything else lost, forgotten or never quite paid attention to. I know what this means. One day, they’ll come back to me and I’ll take a moment or so to remember where they’ve come from. They’ll have lived inside my memory box for so long, they’ll have lost all their shine and smell of new. But only then I’ll be able to have a look and a play, and turn them into fuel to the fire that – maybe – I am. Not now. Now, I am not. Now, I have to gently let them go, close my eyes to all my landscapes, and wait for the fog to pass, the world to come back into focus, and the sun to go back up, from – maybe – inside me.

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