First of all: A happy new year to you all! I hope your New Year’s celebrations went well and you didn’t do anything you’ll have to regret the next 12 months – or that at least you don’t remember it. If anyone cares to know: I didn’t and I remember the entire evening perfectly well because I spent it at home with a friend. So judge me. Maybe I’m boring. Maybe I’ve been sick since Christmas and just a little bit boring – all of this, however, is totally beside the point.
So the real deal: here’s the first part to a story (there’s two more, they will follow the next couple of days) I started last year, and somehow haven’t managed to finish just yet.
Not because I lack motivation, or even inspiration (wow, that’s a first!) – maybe I just want to get it right so badly (I mean, obviously, writing something, you always want to get it right – but with some pieces, you just want to get it even righter. At least that’s what this feels like to me).
I just decided to post what I have and hope for some clever posts that may possibly enlighten me! Long story short: Dearest reader, if you have a minute (or two) – feel free to read and comment. Thanks and you’re awesome!
Part I: Count your losses.
She closed the book, placed it on the table and closed her eyes, finally. It was the first time in 24 hours, more or less. That’s what it felt like anyways (although: no; it really felt like 24 days, 24 weeks, 24 of something that didn’t have a name yet).
It was early, merely dawn. The sun wasn’t up yet; it was stumbling across the sky, still half-asleep (that dizzy state right after waking up, when the mind’s still struggling through the scrub of dream and subconsciousness).
She hadn’t slept in days.
She didn’t know what time it was but she didn’t really care either. She’s spent the past hours flipping through pages; running fingers over words.
It was strange to see his words on the thin paper, so delicate, so in order: how could anything he’s left behind be still so delicate, so in order?
His handwriting has always been neat. One day he came home from kindergarten (he was four) with a piece of paper: he’d scribbled his name (Liam) with a crayon for the first time; his eyes were gleaming with excitement and pride. She’d pinned it to the refrigerator that day; it still hung between shopping lists and family pictures.
She took a final look at his diary: twelve years later, each letter still looked carefully drafted, as if it was the first (L).
March 23, 2012 it said in the upper right corner. The next line, starting on the left margin: Liam. L i a m. L I A M. L-I-A-M. L.I.A.M. L. I. am. I am. I am. I am…
Then, he’d copied a poem by one of his favorite writers (John Clarke); some bits were highlighted:
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows.
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys (?),
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.
Don’t marry a musician, they’d said. He’ll break your heart, love, they’d said.
And what is it with these artists anyways? I’ll tell you (never mind she didn’t ask): they lack realism. They’re dreamers – their heads in the clouds. They never think. They feel instead (they’d said it as if it was a bad thing). Really, they do all their thinking with the heart. And what are you going to do, married to a feeler? (In Arabic, Dave would always tell her, a poet is called feeler: they use one word to express both. Or maybe they don’t make a difference at all.)
In the end, she didn’t listen. She didn’t listen and people secretly shook their heads at the wedding until Dave said something funny and they couldn’t help but laugh. She didn’t listen and now she was angry. Not because of all the things they’d said (because they were all true and she’d loved him not despite, but because of all that).
She was angry because of what they failed to say: one day, he will take the car down to the grocery store (like every other day – but not quite, love), get into an accident (maybe because he had his head in the clouds or maybe because of someone else’s head in the clouds).
Then, an hour later he’ll die in the hospital, and it will break your heart (and we’re so sorry, love).
That’s what they should have told her. Maybe then, she wouldn’t have married him. But no: of course, she would have married him; because there was no one else she could have ever married and that was really the problem (we’re so sorry, love).
… to be continued …