Wednesday, August 10, 2005

it's all in the past now you've forgotten

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
-- E. Bishop
Friends used to come in and out of my life, like a surf to the shore, rolling in, receding.

Q and I sat across from each other drinking cachaça straight out of coffee mugs. We had run out of words, an inevitability. We had not seen or spoken to each other in two years. There was so much and nothing to say. Q sat back listening to the music, while I surveyed the apartment. It was an illegal space. Parts of it were literally missing; if an inspector ever got his hands on the place, it would have likely been condemned. But it was painted just so, so perfectly shoddy. Just like Q, as if it was in disrepair on purpose, for effect. I felt the surge of uncoolness swell within me. It might have been the cachaça, but everything felt jangly, out of tune, slightly wrong.

We regarded each other; we wanted to skip this part, the part where amends should be made. Q turned his attention to the song on the stereo, then started translating it to me. It was in Portuguese, which meant I understood none of it, and Q understood it only passably. Still, I listened, as he translated it with those familiar oddly-placed pauses in his voice. For just a little while, we seemed to know each other again.

That was a year ago. The apartment has long since been vacated. It used to trouble me that friends came and went forever. I didn't realize that wouldn't always be true. There is no equilibrium now, no steady state. Time is about the balance tilting, pushing me towards one thing. I somehow failed to notice that meant it pushed me away from something else.

** I swear I'll be back to present tense, melancholy-free tomorrow.

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