Dooley Wilson – As Times Goes By,
(Eagle-Eye Cherry – When Mermaids Cry)
It was Midsummer’s eve and I woke up two hours after I went to bed. Unable to fall asleep again, I got dressed and left the house to sober up. Not from intoxication, but from restless emotions. Strangely destroyed I had once more found myself starving for the peace of mind I can’t seem to be able to hold on to.
Earlier the coolness of green grass against my face had then and there pushed me to an early escape from my own mind. By refusing me much needed sleep my mind established yet again its dominance.
As I left the house the weather was cool compared to the hotness of the day. In air breathable, I let my steps lead me to the river. Without anything better to do I eventually found myself listening to the flow of the water by one of the bridges downtown. There, as a stroke of fate, walking in my direction was a stranger of the familiar kind. What proceeded recembled the writing of a Woody Allen movie script (albeit without all the old-man-perv stuff). Between us there was no obvious attraction, no bodily tension, no history of any kind and in that liberating freedom we let our souls unfold to one another. Sharing heartbreaks, found cynicism, overwhelming stress and the hope that maybe… that maybe… ‘anything’.
Following the rules of a Hollywood movie, my co-actor is tall, dark and handsome. Blessed with an Italian accent that had I not recently ‘been-there-done-that’ surely would have appealed to me. His hair is curly and despite his age, stained with silver as it frames his face merging seamless into a beard.
I told him about my insomnia, about Lorelei whom I senseless almost let drown me, about my temporary situation of ‘something a lot like ****’, how I battle lingering self perceptions and about once again desiring something that never previously truly been granted me. In my most honest moment he embraced me – our one and only physical transgression. There is nothing like the arms of a stranger but they came unexpected and before I could truly enjoy them, the moment had passed.
He told me of his found-lost-found-lost love, his Lorelei, revealing the human nature in how magic it all was yet simultaneously how empty of content it seemed. There is no secret that I could relate and wonderously uncertain we continued to vomit the possibility that that is all there is to love. Stretched out on a park bench he followed up the topic with his emotions towards the woman who currently shares his sheets. A woman whom while captivating, carries baggage perhaps too heavy for him to handle. And as we were trapped in similar seats, regardless of love and intimacy, desires and devotion, we discuss with almost apathetic passion the soul killing confusion of what it means to be lost in this world without a future purpose to guide us.
He smiled as I told him how liberating honest conversation with strangers are. While I aim to be honest to all, most people don’t want your honesty because they feel it demands things of them. As society is the biggest liar of all and people are self-centered, if not fullblown narcissistic, they don’t understand that truth has nothing to do with expectations from them, but for freedom for you. With strangers there is no baggage, no expectations, nor obligations, only liberation.
After the appropriate length of a Woddy Allen movie of walking up and down the river, not quite in Paris yet pretty nonetheless, we returned to our meeting point and went our separate ways. Each leaving for an ending unbeknownst for the other, like a spit screen on the cinema before the credits starts rolling.
For some time still, I kept on roaming the streets in the approaching dawn, waiting for that moment when I would be ready to face the self that an empty house contains.