My Hidden Lives // Prose / Poetry

62. about old friends & imaginary lovers

32nd of december

_

I wrote a poem about our life once, in a language unknown to you. I wrote a poem, trying to remember everything I ought to have forgotten.

I toyed with the idea of translating this sad ode so you could feel the sadness it evoked in me; to send it to you, to tell you about what it meant (for me):
to talk,
to laugh,
to drink on Fridays or Saturdays when we had nothing else to do;
to smile at a plastic screen and to think of you there, miles away, huddled in your armchair, becoming the man I knew you could be.

It was not for me, your transformation. It was not for me, your drunken admission of your darkest secrets. Still, I was there to hear it all, hear you plead with life to give you another chance, see you admit you actually were capable of love.  Not with me, of course. Never with me. I didn’t mind. I put on my brave face. Let go of old dreams. Of resentment. Tried to be the friend you seemed to have needed.

Unwanted thoughts resurfaced, though, like –

I was only sixteen, and you were much older. When we met, I thought I wanted to kill myself for not having you near. I talked of love, of seagulls, of judgmental old ladies. I wrote to you religiously and you wrote back. I thought we had something, then. I thought someone might’ve fallen in love with me, but I was a delusional child, wasn’t I? You never did love anyone then, not really. If you had, you would’ve loved me as well. Love is not exclusive, you see. If you love one person, you love the world. You didn’t love anyone. You didn’t love me.

I became a specter. The ghost that haunted, the poltergeist in the world of the good, the pure. You exorcised me with your words, your sentence. Said I was incapable of love, of emotion. Trying to find myself, was that the exact phrase you used? I didn’t mind. I looked at you across the room and thought to myself –

What a sad life he must lead. So lonely.

I’d wanted to live with you in a house by the sea. I’d wanted to listen to old jazz tunes in a white cotton dress, my skin caramel from the sunlight. I’d wanted to be able to say –

„Hey! No one thought we would make it, but we have. Seven years of indecision, yours and mine, and finally it’s over.“

You weren’t the same, though, and I wasn’t either. We were both older, more serious. We were both wiser. We walked around without touching, except when my feet began hurting too much in my old-girl-shoes and I needed an arm to hold on to. I wished it had been anybody else’s but yours.

The day you left, I put childish dreams aside. Those imaginary sequences about houses and afternoons spent drinking red wine and listening to Waits. I said goodbye to you looking at my own reflection in an elevator mirror, and that was that.

I went out into the world, after seven long years, unburdened by my history. I fell in love again.

But there was still that yearning to tell you about it all. Not to hurt you, never that. Not to show you I’d grown up, or grown out of the silly shoes I was wearing when we met.

I missed my friend. I missed the person I could tell anything to, who would treat me with respect but also tell me when I was wrong. I wished I could tell you about all the changes you’d brought about by being unkind, and honest. I wished I could talk to you, without all of our history bringing us down. I wished I could tell you, in a way, you were right – although your choice of words then was maybe unfortunate.

I wanted to set things right, but knew I would never be able to do it in person. So I wrote this little piece instead. I wrote it in hopes you would read it, but also secretly wishing you wouldn’t. i wanted to think of your life as being amazing and fulfilled after we’d parted. Even if I didn’t think I mattered,I wanted to think you never thought of me again.

I hope I was right.

_

Vidim nas, ponekad,
u onoj kući na osami koju si jednom, (u šali) spomenuo.
Onda prosanjam taj život prije pravog sna –
dok perem zube (jer mi je dosadno)
i pokušavam zaspati (jer ga zamišljam mirnim).
Jer  je ono jedino mjesto na kojem se još uvijek
Možemo sastati, ti i ja.
Ja, koja sam daleko godinama i miljama
Od tebe, koji više ne dolaziš nepozvan u moje
Noći.

Poklonim ti zato koju minutu
kao rođendansku čestitku prijatelju s kojim se inače ne čujem.
Ne bude nam loše, da znaš, u toj kući gdje glumimo oboje,
ti Salingera, ja sebe od prije pet i kusur godina,
kada sam te još smatrala piscem.
Pomislim – ta, i gorih budućnosti se mogu sjetiti.
Bilo bi nam fino.

Mogla bih ti biti dobra žena onoliko –
koliko bi ti meni bio dobar muž.
Kupovali bismo odjeću koju ne treba peglati,
ja bih nešto i skuhala (da ne jedem ono što bi ti pravio),
dala ti pola kruha kojeg sam kupila i čašu iz moje boce vina.
Ti bi mi uzvratio drugi put, kada sjedim navečer i gledam valove
u daljini – kad mi treba još samo ona kap koju ovdje nikada ne mogu naći.
Boce bi trebali raditi veće,  jer sada smo veći ljudi,
i treba nam dulje da zaboravimo.

Otišla bih s tobom do kafića o kojem si mi uvijek pričao,
a onda sama otišla na koncerte (o kojima ti nikada nisam pričala).
S tobom bi neke stvari bilo lakše zadržati za sebe,
s tobom bi bilo lako imati sebe, bez tebe.

Krala bih slike tvojih jutara dok spavaš,
i bacala ih u širine svjetskih mreža pod tajnim imenom.
Ako bih ti ih pokazala, nasmješio bi se, i rekao –
„Loš ti je taj tekst koji si napisala,
ne govori o meni nego o tebi,“
a ja bih ti odgovorila –
„Pa zar me ne vidiš, ja sam tu pokraj jastuka:
u mrlji vina, nespretno fotografiranoj sjeni, otkrivenoj plahti.“

I sve bi bilo jednostavno, ustvari –
bilo bi lijepo i lako i moguće.
Da ja ostanem ja, a ti ti,
i da živimo u mojoj, i tvojoj,
kući.

Negdje na obali.

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