October 24, 2011

chacun ses goûts


When I had reached the other side I discovered that there is such a thing as grace and pardon. It was under a white fluorescent sky and crisp sharp air. It was in dark store windows and drawn curtains under ivy-covered trusses. I could see my breath in front of me if I walked briskly enough.  I could hear every wet echo of my boot heels on cobbled streets.
It is Sunday. And if you find yourself in Paris on a Sunday, rolled off a plane and electric with jet lag, you will discover how little Paris has to say to you. The day of rest. Even their version of Macy's Herald square respects the Lord's day. Even the hunt for a baguette is an ordeal. It's as equally peaceful as it is eerie.

We don't have that here. I had to ride their trains and eat their food and butcher their language for seven whole days to appreciate everything I hate about this city I live in. But still, their backwards beauty wasn't lost on me, if nothing else for the parlay of lifestyles. Different lovers, different losses. I loved no one in either place and no amount of time zones would cease to remind me. The city of romance has no vacancy.

I returned and it was as if the city moved on without me. It usually does, whether I'm in it or not. Time passes. Time passed and then some more time passed and I felt better and worse and better and worse. But I didn't feel differently, I was just more okay about not feeling better. I said to myself, I don't need to feel better-- I have TIME! Look at all this time I have to not feel better! The concept of abundance is so appealing that I forget it depreciates in and of itself.

When I didn't hear from you, I waited a week before I checked the obituaries. It was less depressing than checking a Facebook profile. I knew I'd find you there, on the internet. I wanted you to surprise me. If your name was there next to one date spanning to 2011, a small part of me would have been relieved. But you weren't there either and I didn't bother to wonder why you felt the need to disappear.
There is little point in chasing vapor.

But let's be honest about you. You were never very good at explaining yourself, either because you lack the practice, or else doing so would reveal the lack therein. It's not a secret, but it is impolite conversation. You cannot call your own ghosts. They don't hark your beckon, as elusive to you as you are to the idea of them. You don't have to see them to know that they are there, just the same as you don't have to speak it to know that it is vulgar.

Everyone always comes back until everyone gets what they want. It's a Groundhogs Day scenario checking into the Hotel California.
If caught between the two, it's generally always better to trust the things that you have rather than the things you want. I have time. I trust that. I trust that with time, I won't even want to know what did or did not happen while I was gone. Or even more so, while I was around.


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