Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Pretender

I run into a colleague while making my way to the stairs -- this will be the fourth time in the day that I've had the overpowering need to leave the office, and perhaps the planet -- and realise that his banal chit-chat no longer bores me, but rather actively hurts me. I put on a smile with no care for how obviously fake it is, and stare blankly at his moving lips. My vision is blurry, my hearing warbled; all my energy is taken up by my mind, as it tries its hardest to think of anything but her.

A lifetime spent in careful dissection of song finally has some value, at least -- I know just the people to turn to, the phrases to wait for and experience with an age of experience since last they crossed they mind. They do help, and remind me at least art's good for something. At the same time, even this act has a touch of the unreal, and I find myself questioning just how deeply the composers mean what is being sung. After all, it seems that to the world at large, it's just something that goes on in the background, to be discarded and forgotten when life resumes its natural course. Not for me; for me, I know that the closest I will get to life is listening to other people sing about theirs.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm supposed to do from here. Even if it never really began, it's certainly over, so that chapter is closed. But what comes next? When I think of the vast expanse of time that now welcomes me, all I see is emptiness. And yes, I've long thought that I would walk those plains alone. But given a glimpse at another path, only to have it snatched away again? Even for me, that seems too cruel.

It's not very becoming to admit to feeling this way, at least, not when removed from the immediate aftermath. I'm told that I'm supposed to shake off these feelings, and remind myself of the mythical fish that live in the sea I've never seen for myself. Looking back at the mess I've made of these intimate interactions, though, I can't quite imagine there being another one. Yes, I said that last time, and the time before. But I was younger then, and still had reasons to hope.

No comments: