Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Your echo is a postscript.

It was another Tuesday.
Most life changing events somehow sneak up on a Tuesday. There is something exceptionally ordinary about this day, something that begs a little livening up.

She squatted on the floor, stringing the fairy lights together, set in her view-- if you can untangle the jumble of last years fairy lights, most Adult World problems were a breeze.

There was a certain rhythm to the whole thing.

Take the tangled knot, through the slightest space you find.
Push through as hard as you can.
In case of another knot, repeat the process.
Either the jumbled mess will fall into place, or you just cut the cord.

Pretty much, like the rest of life.

She kept an eye out for her phone, her flatmate would be calling anytime now to confirm coffee.
It had been a rough semester. Classes had gone on as classes always do, but somewhere in the midst of it all, she'd felt herself slipping, losing step with that daily march which keeps us under the happy illusion, that within routine, we are in control.

You could ascribe this to teenage angst, or to living in a new country.
Or you could believe like her, that a tectonic shift was coming, without knowing when or where.
All around her, people were doing something. Most of her peers seemed to have their lives and CVs together.

An In-case of emergency backup was prepared in the same way.
Figure out what you need, store it.
Make sure you're always alert.
Make sure you've covered all your bases.
It seemed that they were attacking life, like an evacuation situation. The fittest can and will survive, and the dreamers will be lost under rubble.

While her friends got their classes, references and Next Steps in order, she doodled outside the margins of her notebook. She wasn't without, of course. She had a jumbled set of passions combined with a desperate need to follow a different one, depending on the day of the week. And the voices in her head.

"See you at 5. Don't be late. Wear a scarf, it's chilly outside."

Functional, is how the text read. Functional, is how people should be. All that feelings do, is add confusion and make you hopeful.

That's the thing about Hope- it is insidious and creepy.
Like a houseguest you didn't want; who always shows up at the worst time. There you were, reading your book, curled up on the futon and the doorbell rings. You don't want to get up, but you have to.
And there's Mr. Hope. Wearing plaid trousers and that grin.

You say, make yourself at home, and return to your book.
You try to curl up and recreate that perfect nook you had found. But everything is all wrong. An ordinary sentence about Mer-People and their adventures is now layered.
Suddenly, you're rooting for the Mer-People to defeat the evil Sea Warrior. Suddenly, you're ready to believe that one day we will find a cure for Diabetes.
Once Hope moves in, it's really difficult to get him out. And sometimes Hope will get you high, that's when you become delusional and look for answers in a scratched Bob Marley CD.

She stood up, put her scarf on, as instructed. The Travel card nestled in her coat pocket, and her hand bag contained the rest of her world.

They met for coffee at their usual place. The walls had been painted green and there was a forced cheeriness and some kind of script in the way the sugar sachets were arranged on a plate.
Hello, young person looking for meaning. Sit here for a milky cup of coffee. Drown your conversation with some apple pie. You will look like part of a movie, if you do it right.

He began with an animated update on where his life was. How much it had changed in the last 24 hours, the enormous perspective he swore he know had, and how solutions were almost in sight.
She began with a sigh. A jumble of words and sentences which sounded inarticulate to her own well-read ears.

* I don't make sense. You won't understand me *
*Maybe if you spoke slower, I would *

*Maybe if you exercised every morning, you'd be able to concentrate better *

*Maybe you're a grouchy pig? *
As always, she flung her sugar satchet at him. He ducked, effortlessly.
They could have been sitting there for hours. You couldn't tell if you just looked her way. Of course, the number of coffee cups on the tiny table were a giveaway. If you were a fan of logic and math, that is.

She decided to walk back alone, by the bridge. It was such a poetic setting, that it had to have meaning, just waiting to be decoded.
Her favourite part was how their conversations over coffee, read like blog posts. Funny, hilarious, insightful blog posts. He knew who she was, on most days. On the others, he was excited to find out who she wanted to become. She knew his advice wasn't as functional as his texts. That a lot of lofty ideals were mixed in. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

A friendship can be broken all the way down into just conversations.
There are the definitive ones, which outline who you're going to be with each other. The really important ones though, are the ones you won't remember. You could have been quoting Groucho or laughing like an idiot over a sexual pun, but there is warmth in the air. Warmth you created. This is the warmth which stops you from keeling over on rough days, much later.

The gravel on the bridge was getting stuck in the heel of her boots. She ran her shoe softly over it.
Wondering if these errant stones were witness on that Tuesday, last summer. He had been running recklessly on the bridge. There was something poetic in destruction always.

But the thing she missed acutely, sharply and everyday, was the touch of his hand on hers. So she picked up her pace and hurried back to her apartment -- to find and attack the jumble of fairy lights. She needed to stop going to that coffee house, every Tuesday. One of these days she would.

But for now, she untangled the mess of cords, one knot at a time, literally willing the light at the end of the tunnel.