"Where are we?" I asked, though the words hadn’t traveled to the other end of the room. He stared at the ground as my eyeballs paced for the moment he’d look me in the eyes. It must have sounded like a rhetorical question. "How did we get here?" I yelled. His face finally lifting itself from the reflection of the bare concrete. He mumbled. I did not hear a word but couldn’t bother asking him to repeat himself. Surely we were in the zone that twilights inhabit, both alone though bearing the scent of each other’s stench after long days of work. We buried our despair in each other’s shoulders. Every once in a while we dared to massage them away in the silence of the night when we heard only the movement of the sheets as our feet wiggled around the trail of mosquitoes. Just two weeks ago we were there-tiptoeing around the hypnosis of our smartphones, our ears mirroring each other’s while we sat, side by side, on the living room sofa. We had broken the promises of our keeping.
Our final argument led us here. Into the pale of a battle which challenged the might of our complacency. Neither of us were willing to fight and neither knew where the fight would eventually carry us. The future seemed dim, and we were both disillusioned about our places in it. The wool that endured winter’s chill awaited me somewhere in the pastures of my wildest illusory romance of Europe, and collecting shade under the baobab tree in Madagascar. He planned only for those tomorrows where his ironed work clothing hanged to greet him each time he entered his room.
Here! I felt I had spoken his language for once. Buried futures of lightyears into the slows of my new stride. But the question I posed still reeked of the past. Reeked of recalling those memories that led us to this present of hopelessness. “Look, we had our moments and good times, but this is not making sense. We are not compatible.” I knew he spoke of a truth I bellowed just yesterday, and the day before, but this moment soaked these knowings into the red of my ego. What did he know really? “You are trapped in those moments behind you, you can’t let go. You are ruining your future.” I stared at the barren mango tree and wondered when the flowers would begin to bear its fruit again. His phone’s ring led him to exit before the coming of the rain. He promised a phone call later that evening, but I knew better.
I emptied him in the salts of the water which seemed to cure sore eyes. The comfort in nothingness no longer wished to sip the tea of unfeeling by my side. This future seemed nonsensical in the face of pastlessness. All arrows were pointing forward but at what cost and from whence? Our pulses were almost completely buried in debt, and it was almost too hot to breathe as the smoke of plastic burning hovered the atmosphere each day. Concrete threatened the presence of grass, and trees were a nuisance to brick follies attempting to mimic the spirits of homes. Heads laid on the corners of streets detached from the bodies whose hearts grasped for the longing of fathers. Politicians tucked away money in their socks, under the beds of their daughters, and in the swiss accounts which secured their hidden agendas. Cancers larked in the bellies of the corn stalks, rice grains, wheat and chicken. And then there was love, perhaps promised in the discovery of life on the mars, but for the earth had reached its decline. ___
The moon shone brightly that night as it did the night he laid tucked away in the warmth of her return and I in the unknowing of which my solitary slumber permitted. I awakened the next morning anxious to greet him with the yellow which donned my chest as I walked the streets to his home, bright eyed and filled with the hope of new beginnings. As I walked to his bedroom window waiting for him to greet me I was instead met with the tarnish of her footprints. She had traveled from foreign to recreate their victorian romance under the looming of palm trees. She had been gone too long, and he, I soon learned, awaited her shadow in the darkness of my skin.
I grabbed the items within reach of my hands which were barred entry amongst the louvres and the door he refused to open. A bible and his photo album! I frantically ripped out the pages of Genesis and tore the pictures of the two of them. I sprinkled them across his lawn. It was my attempt to recreate the trappings of those moments behind him.
There we were years later standing before each other beneath the barren mango tree. Branches awaiting the moment its flowers would once again bare the fruit in which the possibility of love seemed only spare, but whose sweetness would stain our memories and whose pulp would bring forth juice as the testament to our daily survival.