Blue

‘What do you want?’ she asked. ‘The truth or a nice evening?’
I was tempted… so tempted.

It’s 4 a.m., the two of us, a pack of stray dogs and the night, cool with all its rain, and a chill passes over me. I don’t touch her yet. The feeling I’m experiencing is one of repulsion for her hands, her voice, everything I can’t have for myself. I wanted a nice evening, but in the end the lies egg cracked and the truth came out liquid, sticky and terribly hard to clean. She got me a cloth and tidied me up when we left the bar. I, the mess, stood still and watched her, as from a distance.

My soul feels rough and weary, like a pair of jeans you wash with pumice stones until their texture gets weak. Gone are the days I could brag about an inner self that could not be violated. My lion heart is now only a zodiacal feature. The reality is that I’ve turned soft, nostalgic and quiet, like a slow dance danced until the end of time with a cold, beautiful woman kissing my neck and whispering sweet nonsense in my ears.

‘You forgot about violent, my dear,’ she says. ‘A dance is also sensual, violent, tragic. It stays quiet, but it has strength. I can hear the speed of your thoughts, you know. These days, I think it’s the only part of you that stays alert.’
‘Thank God for that.’
‘You’re getting yourself old that way though, and it’s just too bad. You’ll have to live with yourself many years from now. Why would you want to get old before the times come?’

She swirls her fingers around mine and we keep walking in silence. At least she knows how to be silent. I only want to share my secrets to 4 a.m. 4 a.m. always reads me best.

I have the most beautiful lover in the world, and there’s no one out here lonelier than me, I think. Actually, I feel there’s no one out here at all.

When she came over at half nine she had a radiant smile and a sophisticated purple dress that made me want to trade our night out for one in. I tried to talk her out of leaving the house, as my mood had swung from partying to snuggling on the couch, and slowly, to making love to her for all the rest of my days. I was so in love that the feeling was dripping out of every pore of my skin. To me, she was more than a pretty face mixed with some girlish charm in a woman’s body. She got under my skin and made me want her in ways I don’t often want others to stay with me. I was mad about her, and a bit tipsy.

‘You want me?’ she laughed. ‘Oh sweetheart, you do have me for tonight don’t you?’
‘I don’t just want you for tonight. I want to have you, in any way there is — physically, emotionally, damn it, eternally. Will you be mine?’

She leaned over me and grabbed another glass of wine, looking terribly confused. I took advantage of that and slowly kissed her, putting away the wine and hoping for a romantic outcome. She, on the other hand, had other plans.
‘What do you want?’ she asked. ‘The truth or a nice evening?’

I could have asked her to be frank and tell me right away that she didn’t want me back, so I could hear it loud and clear. Instead, as a true lover not being loved in return, I chose to dig myself in a hole of ignorance and leave the misery for later. I smiled, had a few more drinks, helped her put her coat on and drove to the best bar I could think of, somehow hoping that we’d make it back together in the morning. I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes in the few hours we spent out, all while watching her happily ever flirting with other men on the dance floor. She had this innocence, this bliss, this reinvigorating, fresh charm that fuelled my fire, that made all my senses go insane; that she was ready to share with any man coming her way.

I turn my head to her as we walk. She’s cold and tired and so am I. Gradually I sink into a fine, delicate hatred. I no longer hear what he says. I am only conscious of my own thoughts.
‘You can sleep at my place,’ is all I say when I realise how close we got to my apartment.
‘No, it’s fine, I don’t really feel like sleeping.’
‘Then what do you feel like doing?’
‘I don’t know,’ she says and stops in the middle of the road to play with one of the dogs. ‘I want to stay up until dawn, then I will probably just walk home. I know you’re not at your best, but I’ve had a nice night and want to enjoy it some more — either together with you or all alone. I’m still happy, sweetheart.’

It’s a large, brown one. I watch her and my heart turns blue, as if it wasn’t all broken already. I think about these people who you just love for no reason, or admire to the point you end up wanting their body only to inhabit it. These people who are so seductive, so delicate, so perfectly harmonised with themselves and the world surrounding them, so unaware of their blessed nature, that you suddenly want to be them. Mia is one, and I only wish she stayed longer, so I could learn to live and breathe like her. I feel ashamed thinking that I myself am so clumsy, so silly, yet so stupidly organised. I force myself to develop a charm I lack and fail, and enviously watch her flow. But Mia lacks depth and I, in spite of being no Prince Charming, have so much soul she wouldn’t know how to handle — and I won’t take her shallowness away from her either. I watch her and the dogs and think of how lucky she is for being so lovely, of how boring her relationship with herself must be, of how all she’s got to do to keep her smile is to go out and talk to strangers. She’s easy-going and attractive and I know she’ll be alright because even when they’re not, people like her are always alright. .

I sit down on the pavement next to her, and one dog gets close to me. We’re both happy now, together or all alone — I don’t even know, and it doesn’t even matter. It’s 5 a.m. now and the sky is brighter, and so is my mind as its own blue gets lighter, and lighter, and lighter.

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