What I need
is a conversation with you as you drive through the suburban, for a quick night out; for dinner nearby. Because I heard the Thai restaurant opposite that cafe we always hide in and hoard coffee from was good, and because we were too lazy to spend the required 30 minutes to chop and cook and prepare the food. So instead we mutually agreed to use the 30 minutes to drive
And have this conversation together.
The world is draped in blue, with tasteful yellow accents; sometimes a green, occasionally a flash of red. In the headlights of cars, in the hurried stride of fellow suburbanites, in the glare of the lamp post, and in the millisecond view of urgency. In preparation for another cold Tuesday night.
As you speak, I look out the window. Sometimes I look at you. Out of affection and out of duty, because I am genuine for one thing, and I acknowledge your presence for another. Anyway the gesture has become instinct.
Your words narrate the images that pass by my window, 24 frames per second. None of what you say actually relates to the scene that I witness, but I’m able to comprehend both nonetheless.
I see the world outside the glass window; from this I also see the multiple lives that many people live, in this suburban, in this street, beyond this land, and across the sea and spanning all continents and planets. The world continues to amaze me even when I’m seated in this car, in a confined moving box, heading towards a short-term goal. The world continues to hold my hand regardless.
I hear the words you say inside the glass window; from this I also hear the multiple lives that you live, beyond the one you currently are present in. The one that allows you to drive this car and have this conversation. Your past resides in our confidentiality, and your present sits to comment upon observation of things beyond the glass window, and your future is driving forward at 60kmph, towards that Thai restaurant we decided to spend time on.
A story you tell or a joke you say will capture me long enough to pull away from the hand that I hold. A scene or a momentary glimpse of another’s life will capture me long enough to pull away from the heart that I care for. Such is the love triangle between two loves, and I’m glad you accept this polygamous relationship, because you know I accept yours, between me and the world you also hold dear that is all yours, all yours entirely.
The conversation spoken between us has more words than what we both can hear, out from our mouths and into our ears. Most of the words is silent conversation, none of which is possible for the physical to hear. However we can feel it; there is a third passenger in the car, seated between us. This third passenger is what makes the silence comfortable and valuable. It is what makes the pause between your words full of life, almost human, growing bigger and bigger, like a child. Until it matures into a full adult; the long silence that is supposed to be awkward but isn’t. It is just there, and it is just right. And we welcome it, because it is our child after all. Not a real one, not the one made out of bones and a conscience, but one we raised perfectly nonetheless.
The propellant towards the future stops, quite literally, in front of a red light. Heaven presses the pause button for a minute, but it is a minute long enough to study the details.
The cable knitted sweater rests lazily over the white tee; a grey messy river opposite a shoreline of soft bare cleanliness. They disguise your body of its distinctive masculine frame, of the pudgy and adorable kind.
Over your presence is the smell of coffee; the third one of the day, that you picked up at the nearest drive-through. I wonder if it’ll ruin your appetite, or catalyse hazardous chemistry inside you later. The latter is something I will try not to think about until too late.
Over the smell of coffee is the sound of the radio; it is a very soft sound, almost imperceptible during our conversation, but during this momentary pause it is audible, and I can hear a strange kind of poppy instrumental. Your hands tap the beat against the wheel; another sound that reminds me of your world. Your free foot joins in this partial dance. Although you proclaim your physical body is dangerously unable to dance, your mind is excellent at it. And I can see that, right now.
I wrap myself beneath my cape; a present from a world long ago that I have been to, and came back alive from. The cape is not the only thing; my body is dressed and covered and accessorised with symbols of my past, all mingling to participate in the present. They dance also in the vehicle of my mind that I am currently drifting off beyond the glass window, while we wait. The clear blue sky outside becomes a canvas for my musings; I am lost above the atmosphere, thinking about heaven and science and existence and being. Thinking about the lives of others still; the ones driving, and the ones seated, each doing a different thing.
The canvas stretches. The future box is accelerating towards destiny again, and life resumes. You continue where you left off, talking about a professional bother and some nonsense mixed with philosophy. The radio dies away to the sound of your voice. I listen with rapt attention.
What I need
Is a moment in time. Is a fragment of a conversation with you. Is a millimetre of the ruler of our lives.
Is confined into a box, yet unconfined outside of said box.
Is the authority of your voice that hushes the wavelengths of radio.
Is the unfettered detail - smell touch sound sight - that becomes part of you. And becomes part of me. And becomes part of me in your memory. And of you as well in the same.
On that one cold Tuesday night.
What I need