Monday, February 28, 2011

Between Now and the Future

It feels as though you're a stranger who means more than a stranger to me. You're a memory of a memory, hanging somewhere in the ether space between reality and dreams, the past and the present; irreconcilable.

It feels as though I've lost you, but I'm not sure I ever had you. Our entire relationship was formed between "hello" and "goodbye" and somehow has persisted past those boundaries. Conversation came naturally and flowed, the mellifluous words gliding off our tongues and dissolving into the air between us to the cadences of our laughter. Though the multitude swarmed around us, we took no notice of them as they passed, like two rocks, steadfast despite the raging rapids.

In retrospect, we stood together for less time than I thought, and yet it feels as though I took more from that brief meeting than I have taken from the friendships I've had for years. Camaraderie bound us in an instant and careless laughter rose from us almost immediately, and we settled into a casualness, as though we'd been striking up conversations with each other for years.

Perhaps we have nothing in common, but that did not at all impede our banter. I was entranced by your presence and captivated by your voice and the accent which bespoke of exotic places and patchwork summer meadows held together at the seams by low stone walls. I cannot speak for you, but you must have recognised something within me that held you to our conversation. Why else the chat about things that differed from your original purpose?

It may have only been a short talk, but in those ten minutes, I grew into myself as a person. I held myself taller, straighter, and with more confidence. As we stood on the pavement among the city crowd, I no longer felt like a bumbling teenager who did not fit properly into her own skin but like an adult who'd long since outgrown the awkwardness of their limbs and long since resolved the dilemma of their place in the world. I felt as though I'd gained a level of sophistication, that we'd reached an equal footing where countries and ages and positions didn't matter, because we were simply two people laughing away on the footpath. And for the first time, I felt that I had the potential of a seductress, as though I was possibly good enough for someone to be interested in a way people had never been interested before. After all, who looks at the girl in the shadows?

As quickly as it came, it just as quickly passed, for though we were enjoying our conversation, we each had to continue our separate ways. And so it ended with a smile, a handshake and an "it was nice to meet you." I walked away with pride and satisfaction, and a warmth that spread from my chest outwards. I still wonder if you looked after me as I left, hoping that we'd meet again, the way I hoped. I did not look back because I was already looking forwards. I wonder if you too hope that we shall meet again.

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