Some women are nice to stare at. Nice to hold their hand, go on long, long walks with them. They taste real nice when you kiss them.
But not this woman. Oh, no.
Kisses dream of lips like hers.
Alice walks closer.
God, this woman! Even the way she sips from her glass knocks men the fuck out.
She is sex. The way you’d imagine sex to look like. Alice is pretty sure she is wearing a perfume made from the tears of all the men who had her and lost her. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the sound of hearts breaking.
Even if they tried to avoid one another, it wouldn’t work. Somehow, the Universe seems willing to collapse in on itself just to make them meet.
Which is kind of odd, considering…
She’s never felt like this before. Her soul aches to touch her.
Watching her from afar…
Somehow, they’re both seated on the same couch. Talking. Her name is Elena, but everyone keeps calling her the Duchess. Suddenly, Alice remembers.
The mansion. She is the maid.
She didn’t feel like that when she first saw her. Why does she feel like this now?
What is happening?
What is going to happen?
A man walks over to them, takes a seat next to Elena, kisses her on the neck. Platinum blond hair, an almost-not-enough, almost-too-much smile. He is the kind of handsome that doesn’t usually inhabit the realm of men, and for this reason people – especially women – have always fought hard for his attention; he carries himself with the sort of contempt that advertises it. He could easily break your heart with a stare and mend it with a smile. “Hello, doll,” he says to Alice. “Remember me?”
She doesn’t know what to respond to that. Of course, she remembers him. “You were wearing a mask, but…”
He runs his fingers through his silver hair, smiles understandably, then extends a hand. “Lucien.”
He kisses her hand, then he’s off, talking about art and stocks and history with some bank managers. He runs his fingers against the wooden frame of a painting, while quoting philosophers few people ever heard about.
He’s so fucking rich… he moves around like art.
What is it about these two? How did they manage to become art? How does one go about becoming such a thing?
My life can be defined by the following words: a long string of compromises. I learned to accept the fact that Amber would take Jacques to most of our meetings.
But there was always a moment, pure and innocent and pathetic; Amber would sometimes arrive a few minutes before him. I never asked why, but having a few minutes alone with her felt as enough. There was a tone of urgency, given the circumstances, to tell her as much as possible. Those few minutes were ours, a pleasant and intimate moment stretching under the faint moan of the city, a moment in which we ordered our drinks and food as quickly as possible, so we would have more time to talk. These brief conversations were mostly stupid; I couldn’t say what I wanted to say, so we talked about everything without actually saying anything.
When Jacques would arrive, I could feel this solicitous solitude well up inside my chest. I felt as if sitting across from me was a different Amber, one I couldn’t touch, as if she were too far away. It was not as if they didn’t involve me in their conversations. On the contrary, they were always telling me about the parts I had missed out on, about their life in Paris, and Jacques told me a great deal about French painters and writers, while Amber listened to him with the acuteness of a judge.
But every once in a while she would rest her head on his shoulder, lock her fingers around his, or kiss him on the lips. And in that moment I felt as if I weren’t part of the story. I was just a minor character in their lives, a simple witness.
I would smile politely at them and tell them how great they look together, how happy they seemed when they stared into each other’s eyes.
Amber burning with this charming joy would always blur my vision for a minute or two. I could feel anger poisoning my veins. I wanted to fight. But, and I know that every man has felt this one time or the other, I felt as if I were destined for failure no matter how much I’d try. It was all out of my reach, as if Amber were engaged in a sort of strange, superior world, like when you were a child and your parents wanted to have a serious conversation, so they said they were going to talk grownup stuff, implying that it was a topic vastly superior to your understanding of life.
We are the prisoners of our own ideals. We have to follow a strict pattern, a set of rules and laws, and play the role society designed for us. We are taught that our choices don’t matter, that at best we are insignificant, and at worst we are invisible, shadowy figures wandering around a desolate landscape filled with rigid concrete boxes and bleak lights shivering in the night. I guess that what I’m really trying to say is that our freedom is limited only by what we believe to be the perception others have about us.
And so I decided it was best to wait.
That same night, I woke up from a dream. The moon’s empty glare trickled down walls, shadows quivered around me.
The dream was still scratching its way out of my brain when I sat at my desk and began to type on my computer, my fingers fueled by a vision much more vivid than reality itself. After all, between what’s real and what’s not is but a thin line.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his Kublai Khan.
I closed my eyes, and there it was. Glued to the back of my eyelids, a forest trapped by a blistering wind, a man walking down a dirt road, holding a guitar. I typed with my eyes still closed.
The world around me was nothing and I was nothing.
Robert Louis Stevenson and his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I opened my eyes, eager to read the words that I wrote. But there were no words there, on that computer screen. No. My dream was there, on that screen. As surreal as it seems, the dream was there, held captive by mere words, by a cage of punctuation marks.
I had been nothing and I became something.
Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein.
I had created something that wasn’t there before I sat down at that desk. Something that didn’t use to exist.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
And the Writer scribbled on a red post it, “Let there be light; and there was light.”
It’s something I can’t use words to describe. Funny. That writing some words on a piece of paper or on a computer is something that can’t be described. It can only be felt by those who take the plunge, because, you see, not everyone can become a writer. I just know that you have to be afraid to live your life in order to become one. Soon you realize that your life is becoming this incredible plot and every person you meet a character. That’s when the world inside your head feels more real than the one outside your window, when a tragedy is nothing more than intriguing information. That’s when you can’t cry anymore because nothing around you feels real. Your entire life becomes a huge stash of stories and novels.
And you die one chapter at a time.
You either write or live. And every writer is bound to find that out someday.
Four random scenes that I enjoyed writing, and still enjoy reading.
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