Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Again

Gently and without start, I awoke this morning to the sterile white of my ceiling, alone and feeling absolutely nothing but the texture of her presence on my skin.

I dreamed of her again last night.

She had come back. She came back to me, but not to me: back to my life, but I not to hers.

I simply had to stand there and watch.

Watch, as she laughed and smiled and moved so beautifully as she always did.

I watched and watched for what in this surreal suspension of space-time felt like months.

And then, suddenly, she was there, in front of me.

She was breathtaking; brilliant in her radiant happiness, her face warm, soft, and eternally affectionate.

She was speaking, but not to me. She was looking past me, as though talking to someone directly behind me.

We were surrounded by things that collectively amounted to nothing: a desk covered in the relics and tools of mathematical academia...a single bookshelf housing volumes of thick reference books, as though taken from a library...a beautiful tree, beyond her and to the right, covered in the greenery of late spring...

There were other things scattered about, none of them worth mention, all contained within a large room lacking distinguishable walls. The indeterminate boundaries of the room pulsated slowly between a muted gray and a drab pink, as though synchronizing with the rise and fall of our breath.

There was a terrible noise in the room: the sound of thousands of voices all pleading for help simultaneously, some whispering...some shouting...some screaming in desperation.

I could see her speaking, laughing to whoever was behind me, but could not focus in on her voice above the clamor of the non-existent crowd.

I wanted to touch her.

My flesh burned to reach out and embrace her and once again lay so deeply upon her the affection that we once shared between our lips.

But she could not see me.

I was simply not there.

So instead, I spoke.

"I know why you left..."

With one deafening, final drawing in of breath, the voices stopped.

She looked at me and smiled, and in the silence we stared at each other and listened to the faint rustling of our clothing; the beating of our hearts.

I had become tangible.

"I know why you left," I said again.

"But why could you not say goodbye?"

Her smile faltered slightly.

I continued.

"I dared not say it at the time, but now more strongly than ever, I recognize the truth behind these words."

She waited as I allowed the words to formulate.

Patiently, as she always had.

"I love you."

Her smile vanished.

"I love you. Why could you not say goodbye?"

There was a pause.

And then she began to laugh.

She laughed.

The voices laughed with her.

She laughed at me and mocked me and joked with the people behind me about the intensity and certainty of my sentiments.

I felt nothing.

I longed to reach out to her more strongly than ever.

But I did not touch her.

How could I touch her?

Instead, I moved to the desk and, with one swift motion of my hand, swept everything off of the surface to shatter upon the floor.

I watched through my eyes my body moving before me.

I was not angry.

There was no emotion behind the destruction.

There was only emptiness.

She had stopped laughing.

I watched myself move to the bookshelf and begin to throw the heavy volumes from the shelves.

I listened to myself grunt and yell.

It was such a foreign sound.

I turned to face her and she backed away toward the indefinite, human-shaped phantasms now located behind her.

My body stopped moving, and straightened itself to a calm.

"I'm not angry," I stated.

She was unaffected.

My voice echoed once more through the chamber.

"I'm really not angry."

"But I am sorry."

"This is my fault, and I'm sorry."

Again, I moved towards her.

I wanted with nigh uncontrollable vehemence to hold her in my arms.

Again, she backed away.

She was afraid of me.

No.

She was smiling again, but this time out of pity and sadness.

She was not afraid of me.

She was denying me permission.

I held my arms out in front of me, reaching out to her in the silence for the last time.

"I'm sorry."

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