Saturday, August 02, 2008

When they met last

For now, after the space of so many years, he did not remember whether he had actually looked at her eyes when he had parted from her, when they had met last, apart from the scraping sound of a goodbye. It seemed to matter now, incomprehensibly though, whether he had looked at her face at all, at that final moment of departure, the only time he knew he was meant to know how a soul can leave a body, a moment that was far superior to his ever knowing what death could be like, what death can be like, for who has had any memory of death?

Perhaps he thought he had looked at her eyes, but this was now only a shimmering memory, a false belief, a kind of persuasive idea that one forces on to oneself, a kind of happening that does not actually ever happen for it had the shattering impact of a blow, a sudden sharp blow to the head, a kind of impact that makes the heart flutter. This lapse into unintentional emotionality was embarrassing, to say the least, for the passage of years had taught him a kind of torrid unlove in which the stickiness of emotions was a tarnish for the clear gaze of seeing.

However, this assurance, this knowledge that he had not looked away but had dared to look into the un-expressive irises of her eyes was important to him, suddenly so important and vital that it needed more than symbolic acceptance, more than any forced confession from a heart. It would let him accept with a certain kind of ease the knowledge of having lived through a moment and not having died at the essential meeting of those torpid moments when dying is far more acceptable than living, when fading into oblivion, into silent speechlessness is superior than any living.

For had he not wondered through many speechless days at that culminating moment, when he knew with a rocky certainty that they would never meet again, never get the chance to even meet in the haze of the same desert, never look at the same sun but be imprisoned like he was in the unending ungiving of that aggressive solitude, tied to the flippant unknowing of that vital question, namely the state of his knowing and the direction of certain mild light brown eyes, shaded by the neutral sunlight of that July afternoon, amidst the blowing apart of countless little cells in his heart, unknown unknown to everyone else, unknown to the world?

Even after many years, he could not come to terms with what seemed like an inconsequential question but which had now assumed such proportions for him that any other thought meant only like an obscene distraction, for isn't it really vital to know, he asked himself sullenly, what happens when we finally leave someone forever? Isn't the distant sound that seems like a flute playing mournfully only an interrogating glare, the merciless sun that shines so brazenly that it leaves no space for shade? But these questions still haunt him, unsure as he is, and so unknowing of what happened when they met last, what happens when people part for ever.

8 comments:

Roxana said...

oh kubla, this has made me speechless. these questions haunt me too. and I know there is such a thing as "parting forever", "never seeing again", but I just can't accept it. I will always fight it.

Kubla Khan said...

Sometimes words can be a poor substitute for remembering acquired and collected hurts and remembrances.
but what can one do?

Roxana said...

but no, one should write, if one can write. poor substitute, yes, but nevertheless. and you should write prose more often.

antonia said...

"You an never lose a thing if it belongs to you"

Abbey Lincoln - "Throw it away"

Kubla Khan said...

Who is Abbey Lincoln?

swiss said...

Abbey lincoln is this person
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D08cYFYr4E
and 'throw it away' is this song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LB6f8z_cpY

Marta said...

It haunted me too, until growing old I am realising that it is not a real question, it is only a possibility. He returned, but he was not the same, and I was not the same either. That is what never return, it is the same. The different returns, or one should go and search, and return oneself, never stop the flow of life. To go back is never what it was, I think, there is no risk of repeating. There should be no fear.

And yes, I know that phrase too: I even remember when Swiss was commenting this (http://thebookofsand2006.blogspot.com/2007/06/leaving.html)
more than one year ago :) that was almost the same

But now i think that one should not stay there and contemplate wounds. rather working with them, writing as Rox suggests, or any other form of counteractualisation. Even returning, even searching, but transforming, transforming and reducing them in something not anymore singular but rather ethernal.

mansuetude said...

i think, if he is thinking about it, wrapped up in that instant, he has not left, nor maybe can he leave. He lives, as presence, there, where he focuses. What is the essence of a person, a lover, after the body leaves, but the love? Memory or self involvement with that feeling can live, longer than we? I don't know.