They say the only ones who are awake late at night are the lonely and the loved. The former find it hard to fall asleep when all they have to do is dream with open eyes about their beloved. It’s almost a compulsion.
But what about the lonely? All the artists, the dreamers; the ones who hold tight to a reality they don’t understand and want to explain?
All you can picture inside your head, over and over again, is you closing the door behind you. It felt… irremediable. Your own version of passing the Rubicon. That was the moment when the nostalgia of all that could no longer be began.
It is said that when two people break up, one feels relieved, free. It is over. It is time to move on. And the other one is left with the broken pieces of their heart, not knowing what to do.
Saudade. The love that remains, the love that no amount of poison could ever kill. The love that will eventually alter itself to become what is left when nothing can be done anymore.
A blank page. A writer’s worst nightmare. It’s that terrifying white screen of death. Of oblivion. Of reluctance. Of forgetfulness. Of being a failure.
Your job is to turn that white page into something else. And contrary to popular belief, you do so by sheer power of will.
This is, ultimately, what art teaches us: that by sheer power of will one is able to create something where there was nothing.
He talked about his dreams with such passion… his eyes burning bright with excitement. You asked him what he wanted to be when he was a kid…
“Oh,” he said. “Ever since I was seven I’ve wanted to be one thing and one thing only.”
“What is that?”
He looked down and smiled sheepishly. Then he stared you in the eyes and put a different smile on his face: as if you were the only thing his eyes had ever searched for. He smiled that smile for a while, and then he said, “Different… to be different.”
One night, after he walked you to your house, he tapped his fingers against the wooden frame of the door. “Someday,” he said.
“Yes,” he said, his fingers now playing with your hair. “Someday yours will be the first face I see in the morning.”
“Why someday?” You asked, every single cell in your body dancing at the thought of him kissing you then and there.
“Someday.” He smiled and, yes, he did kiss you. “Someday,” he said the word as if his very existence revolved around it.
You dug your nose in his chest, the word resonating in your ear. You smiled. You believed him.
Someday was a lovely word.
“Where have you been all my life?” you once asked her. You stared her in the eyes and smiled and she smiled back, a bit scared by what you just said.
You told her that you’d like to hold her hand.
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I could conquer the world… if only you’d hold my hand.”
She lay down her cup. She put it to the side of the table, then moved the ashtray next to it. Then she did the same with your cup. She put her hand on the table, palm up. And she said, “You’re brave, you know? To think that you can conquer the world with just one hand.”
2:22 AM is a short novel written from the perspective of two people who break up. They don’t want to, but it happens. The days go by, they both struggling to find comfort in the fact that the other one is never coming back.
I hope you enjoy reading this short book as much as I enjoyed writing it.