456: Wander (SOC)
A human. Many humans. Earphones in. Tonight I feel like an album made for slow dancing, and honestly, I don’t normally listen to this album unless I’m alone or feeling the need for alone time. I sit in this once brimming mall area, watching the deciduous leaves of thin branches sway with the persuasion of the evening zephyr. I watch the rotating white mannequins, donned in the latest trends, and in watching them, I think of my not so recent ex, whom I broke up with some odd eight or so months ago. His habitual expenditures, expensively cheap tastes and insatiable impulsiveness when it came to bargains or sales. He probably still checks OzBargains daily like clockwork. I think of him, and I miss him, all his flaws, our memories together, the good and the bad. Now it feels good to not have to answer to anybody, to spend more time with friends old and new, to think for myself only. Yet there is still a lingering feeling of emptiness, like I want more of something that has only been present in my life for less than a year.
Being in love. Really in love, having fallen so deeply in love that it becomes a trap, your trap. He is the first thing on your mind when you wake up, and the last thing before you go to sleep. You think of him even more, having ran into him unknowingly a few days ago. His face, all the same. He doesn’t seem to have grown in height. His eyes looking at anything but not you, but cleverly focused away, as if he had not seen you before you saw him. You think of the boy who acknowledged you through a simple nod that late November, early December – for the life of you, you cannot remember; perhaps you have blocked the memory – before he returned your diaries, perhaps never opened to be read. After all, the day you gave them to him, the day you gave him a little part of the younger you, he concealed them behind an unused shelf. Or so the story goes in your mind. His face, his eyes, his smile. He really was the whole deal and it was your fault that it ended. Or perhaps neither party was at fault, but you still feel responsible. An aftermath, the lingering memory cells that remind you of once overthinking and manipulating so many scenarios in your head that it overwhelmed you. Your grasp on the relationship, the memories start to fade the more you try to hold on them, and the songs change. Now you remember yourself in the throes of depression, clinging onto a crumbling illusion in which you had unsuccessfully, yet emotionally, invested. The slow dances in the dead of night in a low lit kitchen with a lover, they come back to simultaneously kiss and bite you, a painful memory of past nostalgia and unbridled naivety, something you have since desperately tried to rein in as the summer starts to ebb and stagnate. You forget about all the past for maybe a few minutes and your eyes start to wander the streets. How beautiful the lights are, the nightlife…how could you ever turn your back on a city that made you? The corporate offices with their brightly lit cubicles, a world you may never find yourself in. You cast a few looks behind your shoulder, taking careful note of the abandoned bike on the footpath. Its twisted red frame, and you turn your head over some angles to better adjust the image before your eyes. Maybe if one squinted, its outline would represent that of an injured individual curled up in a foetal position, frozen in time. The lost memories and livelihood of this outline shakes you, and you stop looking back towards it. You turn a corner and think to yourself, I have not seen a single drunk person on the streets tonight, yet it is a Friday night. Perhaps you are on the quieter side of the city. You pass a bar playing live jazz or country – the notes confuse and bemuse you – and you observe middle aged men and women clustered together, nursing drinks you most likely have not yet had the privilege of tasting. It is time to refrain from engaging in heavy drinking, staying sober, being the best version of yourself without the haze of alcoholism to guide your loosened tongue and limbs. Today you have discovered the terrifying beauty that is hot coffee, enabling you to run on the odd few hours of sleep for the whole day. It bothers you that you could spend up to thirty dollars a week on coffee, so you make a mental note to convince your dad that now you are an adult and can take on responsibilities, it is only fair that he teach you how to operate a coffee machine. The sea of fatigue and exhaustion seems to set in as you sit on the bus, recording your memories, your feelings. You are so thankful for the privilege of sight, sound, taste, movement, smell.
How empowering it is to be young, but how wasteful it is to enjoy it without the preservation of the moment.