You think of your girlfriend: her eyes, her smile, her touch, and that lingering kiss. You liked your world in the evenings with her, thoughts yet to be claimed by dreams, the interface of dark and light, the smell of supper, the making of a new secret, the heaviness of a new desire, the mystery of darkness, the strangeness of reflections in the mirror, the obsolescence of urgency, the dance of the stars, the bleeding of the moon’s edges, the chemistry of eyes, the blurring of thoughts, the slurring of intentions, the impermanence of the past, the irrelevance of tomorrow, the expansion of time.
You have been missing her every single moment. You drain the whiskey glass and light a cigarette. As you step out on the road, the evening is lovely, just as you had expected. You find an electricity pole and slide your back against it till you sit down on the pavement. An onlooker stops and stares at you. You know he pities your condition because you are drunk. In return, you pity his concern and ignore him until he walks away.
Dusk slowly blots into the night around you. This is the time when intuition overcomes better judgment, when every possibility is a fantasy, when directions and courses charted carefully during the day don’t matter, when every spirit kindles itself, when all carpets rolled out looks red, when playing a game is only second nature, when love is a subset of desire, and when sunset is a guarantee that time will finally slow down for a few hours.
Time has indeed slowed down as people surround you from all sides. There is innocence in their silent prodding and you lock your eyes with them, one by one until one of them takes a step forward.
‘Hey, do you want help?’
The man who asks you the question is young, his cheeks sunk inwards. He looks poor, his clothes torn and thinned from long hours of manual labour, but the way he stands, you imagine muscles of jumbled elastic wires under them. His eyes have a rare sparkle. He is from the crowd, yet not one of them.
He extends his hand and you clasp on its rubbery grip, get on your feet, sway momentarily, but find your balance in the end. He escorts you to the lodge, stares at the card you press into his palm as an introduction, shakes his head, returns the card with a smile, and walks away.
* An excerpt from a second-person fiction piece that I wrote recently.