It is probably better for her not to know. For words come as sporadic as the rains in the valleys. Is it the way that the wind pulls the water to and fro, or just the connection between them?
It was the 20th of March when she first became aware of his existence. SenseDirection, his name was reminiscent of the wilderness, someone lost in a vast empty world, a sailboat drifting in the ocean completely unsure of where to go. His smile, as wide as a river, like a soft glow that invites people into his being. If only for a moment, it was freedom.
It was a Thursday night. The feeling of insomnia hung high over her head, like a slow suicide sucking the life blood out of her. She was listening to Of Montreal's "The past is a grotesque animal," the music was like a thin string that had wrapped itself around her heart so tightly that her face began to get pale. She clicked the message in her inbox, "You have incredible taste in literature, is Anna Karenina your favorite Tolstoy? What about a favorite Murukami?" No simple and meaningless hellos, introductions, vain compliments about appearance, the conversation hit the softest corners of her heart since the moment it began. She realized that conversation is very similar to chess, you need an opponent, a Roland for an Oliver, this is the only way to make it all worthwhile and interesting. They continued exchanging messages with often obscure, and at times simple language. Each message came in like an overwhelming wave of possibilities rushing over her, tiptoeing the line of reality and the mental realm inside her mind.
She turned off her phone and walked to the bathroom to take a shower. Only to find a numb facing staring back at her in the mirror. She knew then that her greatest fear was to be killed by loneliness, to not have an opponent. Among the crowds, her vision saw through the sky and concrete buildings, it was fixated on something far, far away.
“What I took away from his books is a longing to meet strangers at hotels and listen to their stories.”
“I often find myself missing/remembering entire strangers, people I came across and never forgot.”
“People are always colliding with each other, in ideas, in cars, in violence and in love. This perpetual collision kinetically and perpetually changes the landscape.”
It was never clear if people like this actually existed, if people could be this interesting. She had still never seen him with her own eyes, still just an illusion. For her writing was the safest way to approach strangers. The process of exchanging ideas and thoughts was similar to two cars crashing headfirst into one another, a kind of excitement that broke the daily mundane life that fills up the hours of the day. She liked to imagine if she would be able to recognize him in a crowd. A man with his own lifestyle, tall and manly, with closely cropped hair, collared shirts and suits, fine lines, and muscles that are a telltale sign of working out. He would probably smile from afar and wave his hand.
At times she could hear the sounds of the keys as they were pressed by her fingers, a lonely sound, like blood gradually flowing through veins. His words appeared on the screen, then suddenly disappeared again. He began to enter her mental world, they met in a subway station, in the gym, and in a dark Karaoke room with dim lights and drunken people. She thought about every detail that his messages contained, the imaginative tones, the voice that stitched every word together.
She began to wonder if the world should keep its mysteries to itself. If she should simply follow the rules of the game like everyone else.
Would fate allow their shoulders to brush up against one another in the streets after she gets back to his city? What are the odds in a vast place?
Would she be reminded of him in every person with a uniform, a pair of blue Adidas pants, or upon hearing sirens in the distance?
She began to wonder if tomorrow was the end of the world, would they actually meet?
She took a train with her book to another city, to lose herself in some reverie by the seaside, and remind herself that she had nothing to begin with.
I once again walked on the rainbow bridge, and just stood there looking at the city before the rain comes rushing in. Time passing by too fast, tracing my skin, passing forever onward. Not far away, the lights in the classrooms of No. 5 high School had already begun to shine, reminding me of days gone by when my entire youth was buried in the mountains of books and homework, the days when I was waiting for classes to start, waiting to get off from school, and waiting to grow into adulthood. The days when I stood at the top of the teaching building watching the sunset, the dim lights and the broken rosy clouds were unpredictable, much like life and death here on earth. I watched them wither away, like watching a slow motion ringing down of the curtain. I didn't realize I still had to go back to class until the bell began ringing. Night slowly fell, and the bright stars were quietly hanging in the sky in a very lonely way. In the playground two kids biked in a circle, the boy carrying the girl, both giggling and talking, as if as long as she sat at the back they could use their emotions to support the future to eternity. Perhaps after ten years they would bump into each other on this bridge with their own partner, and just smile and say "Hey, it's been a long time." When we were young, we thought feelings were the entire world, we were fond of using movies to decorate our worldviews, using music to color moods, using travel to fill youthful years, using ideals to forge our minds. We naively thought time was plentiful, youth was long, and the feelings we once had would always be there, until the seas begin running dry and the rocks begin to crumble. We never understood how the world would crush us to pieces and destroy everything that we once held onto so firmly.
I stood on the bridge, only wanting someone to stand by me and watch this city before the heavy rain comes, listening to the sound of the thunder, enjoying the grey clouds, sharing the silence, This, the month of April.
She sat alone in a hallway, gloomy and narrow, but with a calm sense of security. Unlike the spacious vacant centers with their ominous aurora that makes her anxious.
The dim sentiment perfectly fit into the depressing weather. Her eyes looked misty, like the eyes of lonely birds when they are about to burst into tears. She felt perplexed contemplating the unknown future.
She sat there with a half bottle of whiskey in her hand, “just stay awake,” she thought. The pain and panic were everywhere in the air when she stayed sober.
The city was as heartbreaking as she was.
She staggered to her feet, opened the door with her shaking hand, and went out.
The piercing cold wind was blowing her face, chilling her soul. There were few pedestrians on the street, no one noticed her loneliness.
A dark night with the unpredictible undercurrents.
A shattered life.
Not far away, the construction project was full of workers even as the clock struck midnight, all for a meager profit."Life is realistic," she thought.
She passed by the building they were working on as the wind began to blow stronger still. Suddenly a giant stone started to fall. The round moon hanging in the air, surrounded by darkness too strong to overcome, left its light dim and pale, as it reflected the falling stone. It was falling with an unmeasurable speed.
“Am I going to die?” She thought.
In her subconsciousness, she went back to that time when she was 5, mom and dad took her to the countryside where white little flowers grew. The clouds were sparse and the wind was soft. She smiled at the flowers; they were so small, pure, and fragile, like her heart. She picked them up and held them in her hands; looking at them be blown away with the breeze. It was a colorful picture reflected in her mind. She thought it was life, so beautiful that it intoxicated her.
Time flew by, soon her parents split up to pursue their own romantic interests. When she stood on the street with her own solitude, when the cruelty of life made her drown leaving no room for her to breathe, when her only company became alcohol and tears, she thought, life was so real.
She said, “It’s about to end," with a sense of despair and release.
She was not yet old, she was still searching for the meaning of life.
But she was about to run out of money, she no longer could buy alcohol, and immersed herself in the reflection of life and love.
The imaginary of love probably would never come. No one would ever fall in love with a despondent girl who had a tortured soul.
She saw a moment long ago, when she was just five; her parents held her hands and took her to the countryside where wild flowers grew. She picked them up and held them in her hands, watching them be blown away by the breeze.
The stone smashed her head with tremendous force. Her brains were scattered in innumerable directions, her blood was spattered like sand thrown into the breeze. She was badly mutilated in a few fractions of a second. It smashed her body, her soul, and the love that would never come.
The smile was on her face.
Once someone asked her what if she crumbles tomorrow.
She thought, " what if I crumble tomorrow? "
Her life had been a heavy burden; she was too frail to carry the weight of life.
It should have ended earlier, why didn’t it end until just now.
It should have ended earlier, why didn’t it end until just now.
I sat on the train back to the city. Outside of the rusty window was the heavy rain; dark sky, birds were not in view, the evergreen tress along the track kept swiftly moving backwards. Flows of rain flow down the window of the train, and then like an unwanted guest, penetrate into the car through the window at the junction of the leaf; October weather, the car is a dry place, people’s exhaled mist condenses into drops of water droplets on the glass of the windows just above the small table, mixing with the various items sitting precariously on the small white table.
Inside the car it is extremely crowded, narrow aisles filled with packed suitcases and people with languages so different, as it be mutually unintelligible, bustling from different places far and wide. My hand rubbed the wet glass windows, looking out at the blurred scenery, the rain is rather large, and little evergreen trees sway back and forth in the wind and rain; the train kept on its path, the occasional whistle echoed back and forth in the distant tunnel, proclaiming its intention to forge ahead.