I was young, and the four years you had on me made you look worldly and much more handsome than you already were (you didn't need to be better looking, my heart skipped a beat every time I looked at you). We always stayed in a coffee shop in Glorietta, a 15 min ride from your place, a 2 hour drive from mine. (Even then, there were metaphors: you could never meet me in the middle). I always had chamomile tea, and you always bought a cappuccino; I thought it a quaint ritual, you never thought about it at all. Back then I wished for your love and would have settled for your disdain; I could never stand your indifference.
There is always something about first love. Even now, looking back, there is pain, in that singular way nostalgia and regret inflicts pain, but I embrace the sensation: my thoughts are my own. You are no longer important to me, except for that part of you, no, part of me, that remains in my memories.
Music: A Sestina
You turn the knob of the radio, looking for stations between
The monologues of headless voices. I
Touch your knee, wanting nothing but silence
Amid the soft humming of the engine. I am not
Sure how you take my request: a stiff lip greets my smile but
I shake it off and wait for the music
You so want to hear. This listening, this music
Is a ritual we perform unerringly, in between
Departure and arrival, a ritual against quiet boredom. But
Now we sense nothing but strain, as if I
Said something wrong. I ask and you say you are not
Angry, just tired. But your silence
Says so much more. Your silence
Unnerves me. I feel a sudden need for music.
We listen to the droning of the DJ, trying not
To mind the stifling air, charcoal-dark, smoke. In between
Try to speak but
Words will not come out. In my head, words are but
symptoms of regret by fools. And I need silence
But also lack the strength to carry its discomfort. I
Realize, in between words, we are disconnected: mere shadows. And music
Makes up for our failings, and its absence deepens our pain. In between
Words, we realize we are not
What we think we are. We are not
What we hope we are. But
We need to understand. Between
The mundane and the essential, there is silence,
But as yet, it is not peace. Your need for music
Reveals the answer: To you, what am I?
And the realization turns silence to peace. To you, I am not passion but
Pause. I am not emotion but calm. Not song but silence.
Between words, there was hope for something more: Music.
Photo taken here.