What if it didn’t?

We crossed over and straight away got stuck in that suffocating sticky summer heat. I was silent. What was that talk on the bus about: all hints and ambiguities, like I was in one of Dan Brown’s books, deciphering the true meaning of his words. From all those Q&As, side-looks and reading between the lines – I did not understand anything. There was something in that carelessly dropped “you and I” or in that infinite “lets see how it goes”… But what exactly? That – remained hidden. And that suffocated me more than the sticky summer heat of the urban jungle.

Underground. The draft from the trains brought little relief. I desperately tried to compose myself: walked with dignity and self-assurance. But still a tad too close, I guess… I thought… I was making it more meaningful this way: like I was that “someone special”, “someone close” and maybe even more… And he’d definitely see it and understand… But deep inside I knew that all those attempts were silly and childish and I just wanted to burst into tears right there, right that moment in the middle of the station, not giving a damn about all those people around. How I wished for the dirty yellow tiles to open up and swallow me whole, curls and heels! But this was London Underground at 8am and nobody had time for silly crying.

On the escalators I put on a smile, just like you put on lipstick… Show must go on. The bus convo did not resume. Thank God. He kept looking at me carefully on the escalators, standing 3 steps lower, so that he was at least, somehow on a par with my face. “Soon, I won’t need these high heels”, I thought… I wondered if my eyes were giving away the turmoil inside… We talked: music, rock’n’roll, pop – that it should be extinguished and about something else… Somehow the topic of the unbearable hellish London heat popped in. I did not waste the opportunity to stick it to him, saying that the heat in Australia (who on earth has imagined this country, who on earth has discovered it?!) was not just unbearable and hellish – it was moist and suffocating. I was hoping with some evil pleasure that that would spoil his mood, knowing perfectly well just how much he always hated the heat, and sweat, and sweating and taking a shower five times a day, knowing perfectly well how it drove him mad and made him want to annihilate everything around him. But he only mused that he was aware… Damn!… We walked onto the platform.

It wasn’t my first attempt to try and persuade him otherwise, to make him reconsider. This kind of artfully concealed propaganda was the part of my You-Should-Stay strategy. Subtly planting those negative thoughts regarding the country “A”, its culture and its inhabitants etc was my idea of subconscious manipulation: forget it, forget Australia, the country of kangaroos, koalas and other herbivores and never go there, ever! I was so passionately against him going there, that the power of my will seemed to command forces of nature. Just yesterday, he was telling me, how he’d actually decided to finally drop his application form to the Australian embassy. But on the way there some cursed bird shit right atop the newly printed and carefully filled in forms! “I’ll be damned!” He tried to clean it, but just smeared it all over. Going back and doing it all over again was out of the question. But the stain was there, sitting gorgeously right on top of the page next to his photo. Lying shamelessly to the receptionist that it was a “coffee” stain, he did indeed submit those fucking papers after all. The receptionist, of course, assured him that it was all totally fine. Shame bird shit doesn’t stink…

Just missed the Piccadilly train. The next one was at God knew when. The time table was switched off, just like me… He reached the end of the platform in few confident strides and sat on the empty bench. I was trotting behind on my heels and it dawned on me that I was most definitely doing something terribly wrong! Yes! My whole anti-Australia strategy was wrong! It was doomed and all those counter-arguments were pointless and that in the end he would indeed relocate. It was going to happen! His papers would by all means be admitted and approved, bird shit or not! The visa would be granted and he would soon bask in the rays of Australian sun, hugging koalas and running free with kangaroos. Those thoughts were the last straw…I physically felt how my hopes and dreams came crashing down on me in that tunnel burying me in the debris with them. And the worst part was that it felt like I had almost had it figured out: I knew I could have said some right words and it would all be ok, like the final pieces of the puzzle would just click together and the koalas and kangaroos would happen in some parallel reality, in a completely different universe. I walked further along the platform but it felt like I was in some silly slow-mo. Everything around me now looked dreamlike and hazy, almost unreal. The usual posters on the walls now looked distant, vague and unfamiliar. I did not want to watch those movies, I did not want to go to those gigs. No, turn the world off! However, for some strange reason the advert of Cultural Heritage of India at the British Museum imprinted in my memory as clear as day with those endless happy and colourful ornaments – endless sansara. I guess it was because all those happy colours simply did not match with me at all! Their brightness defied my thoughts and mocked that huge lump in my throat that I’d been desperately trying to push back all morning. I just wanted to turn around and run the fuck away from the station… I swallowed the tears.

Sat down. Morning paper in his hands. The train was nowhere to be seen. And I did not know what to do with myself. I put my left leg atop my right leg. I put my right leg atop my left leg. Then I just peered into a huge orange seashell, the size of the entire wall: “Croatia – juts £69.99!” “Oh well, – I thought, – why can’t I just kiss everything good-bye, middle finger in the air and go to Croatia for just £69.99, like tomorrow? And frolic in the sea there, whichever sea there is there. And simmer on the white sand in a bikini, maybe even topless, and not think that he might leave soon and I would have to stay and fucking deal with it. How is that fair?!” Those voiceless monologues made me feel completely suicidal, because I knew perfectly well that I could not go to any Croatia, not tomorrow, not in the months to come. Instead I would have to stay here and deal with him gone and this horrible suffocating London heat, watching all the possible TV shows out there, listening to Radiohead on repeat… A familiar dusty draft made everyone get up. A train was approaching.

It was full to the brim. It would seem there were delays on the line. But just like by magic two empty seats were found. We sat down. My thoughts scattered along the car. He continued with the paper. I looked at my shoes. Patent leather. Nice. At the next stop I was changing. I turned and looked at him. He had already been looking at me. Same careful intense gaze again: the blue changing into grey and into green just on the border of his pupils. “Wish you not to get killed today”, said I. A quick kiss and I left.

Ok, now I need my earphones and, please, switch the world off, I will think about it all later…

* **

I do not believe in coincidence, I believe in causality. This became clear to me in April of that year. Everything is constantly moving towards a certain equilibrium (totally in love with the word by the way). X + (-X) = 0. If something is subtracted, somewhere it will be added. What goes around – comes around… Doesn’t matter – good or bad.  Everything gains its value once it’s lost. And…everything ends… It’s probably the most perfect pattern of all.

When you are happy – it never lasts long, otherwise you’ll stop appreciating it. “Too much honey is delicious, but it makes you sick to your stomach. Therefore, love each other in moderation<…>” – won’t be arguing with the master here. But you wish, honestly wish for it to last a little bit longer… Just a bit… Please…

You meet somebody. And you are happy. You are happy to just sit silently and talk endlessly; watch Family Guy and the Matrix; talk politics until you are both blue in the face or reminisce about childhood; eat home cooked meals or get a reservation at the best restaurant, where you get totally lost in the cutlery… To sleep curled up behind that big muscly back… And just be together. It was imperative for you to meet. The coordinates finally crossed at one point in time and space. They simply had to. But why then it so happens that when you just wish for it to last a bit longer, some trips and visits come up, some vital plans, desires to move, to go, to see something, some stupid and totally unnecessary whims?!

Isn’t it better to sit on the floor in the kitchen in the morning, when the cool summer breath at 3am plays with the curtains and listen to some unbelievable night birds? Just talk quietly, sharing a cigarette? Isn’t it better to conjure up something in the kitchen the next morning and eat it laughing, burning your lips on freshly-brewed coffee in chipped mugs? To stay in on a Friday night and not give a damn about what to do, getting high on each other? Isn’t it?

Everything ends. But how we wish it didn’t …

May, 2009


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