Sunday, October 25, 2009

Before & After

- Before

It was little more than a dream. Well, she was. A hello in passing on the way to somewhere else. There was no intent behind the greeting, only a friendly gesture that should've been lost in time. But that was how he found her. A hello in passing turned into a beautiful smile, a beautiful smile turned into a soft and warm embrace, and a soft and warm embrace revealed a scent that lingered powerfully in memory.

- After

It will be little more than a memory. Despite the time spent together, he won't be sure she had really existed. The hello in passing will fade away into a yearning silence, broken occassionally by the recollection of a voice that may not have been hers. His memory will fail, and he will not recall how he had lost her. He will only know that the embrace was long gone, having mingled its way among sensations of a life filled with other pleasures and other pains. There will be a sudden realization that he is not now who he was yesterday, nor who he will be tomorrow.

- Before

The seriousness of his occupation led him to the conclusion that he was better off alone. Too many moments presented themselves too dangerously to be burdened with the added weight of someone else's thoughts. Still, human desire was ever-present, and the malevolence of loneliness haunted him even in the life of a crowd. Somehow he remained firm, though there were lapses in his solitude which all ended badly. But they ended, at least, and he was strangely grateful for his misfortune.

- After

He will find that a lack of responsibility breeds irresponsibility, and will hold little concern for himself as a result. He will very much want to take care of someone else, and for someone else to care for him, but will no longer harbor the ship and sail with which to do so. His seas will be empty, waves of emotion having been replaced by lakes of glass, brittle in their abandonment. Needs and wants will no longer coalesce, separated by distance and too much time apart. Fear, in the form of a misguided discipline, will chase everything away.

- Now

I watch the seconds tick away, voluntarily oblivious of the shift from past to future. The present happens too quickly to care about, moments and instants caught in between what once mattered and what will matter. Plans come and go - most fail - and I sit there admiring the song in the background. A cigarette dissolves into ash, its embers marking the time when night turns into day. As John and Paul sing their song, I acknowledge them with a smile, remembering her words of wisdom and wondering if she'll ever again stand in front of me. For now, though, I'm content to let it be.

8 comments:

  1. Very nice, makes a person think.

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  2. I like the way you structured this and worked in a Beatles song! Very sad too -'His seas will be empty, waves of emotion having been replaced by lakes of glass, brittle in their abandonment'.

    We all have to live with our choices. Very evocative piece, beautiful prose :)

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  3. wow. nicely done...almost like the pages of a book flipped back and forth...in ink we can not rewrite...

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  4. When you write I am never sure whether it is fiction or straight description of your life and thoughts and loves. This is the way it should be. This is good writing.

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  5. Don't tell me you're still smoking!

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  6. Yoork, he IS still smoking. :(

    Love the writing. Obviously it hit home for me in some roundabout ways. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the insight of my puers. :)

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  7. I loved the line "He will find that a lack of responsibility breeds irresponsibility, and will hold little concern for himself as a result." Very insightful. Nice work.

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