Thursday, June 5

Two-Hundred and Twelve Days

SHE TELLS ME that I am obsessed with time. For the fourth occasion of that hour I had lifted my watch close to my eyes and observed where its hands were. It was of acute interest to me. It still is of acute interest to me, the passing of time, unstoppable and most often accented by one’s emotions. Even now, I sit here and glance at my wristwatch to see how long it will be before she returns home – perhaps prematurely – from work.
Time is of one of my keenest interests because I am, at heart and forever always, a nostalgic bastard. Even though I have just written that sentence, I look back over it and check that every letter is in order. If, at times, I am drawn to review my life, I notice that every age has a particular colour and shape. Every age, too, has a particular sadness and a particular joy; though I get to choose none of these attributes, they are endowed without me knowing and strengthened over time. For instance, if I were to think of my sadness for growing up, I see the colour yellow and the shapes of triangles, pentagons and leaves; for that is my adolescent room and the decor within it. How terrible that the colour yellow should be representative of such sadness!
Today is our six-month anniversary.
Before her, I marked time – as my words have, no doubt, over the years, denoted – with the flowering and fading of love. It was with sullenness that I recalled a memorable day, for good or for bad regardless. Now, for the first time, I am host to fond memories of six months ago! They do not seem six months ago.
Six months ago the light was of a very different habit: wintery and lazy. It rose late and retired early. Cold was in the air, but the cold was angelic. We simply drank in a bar; I drank her in.
I did not know that all this would happen.
‘I’ll come back to yours, then!’
So many things would have been avoided if she had not uttered that sentence. The passing of time is so frail that the whole length of it can be disrupted and turned by the very shortest of exclamations. I was all trembling at the prospect of her returning to mine. We returned finally. I put down a bottle of wine and we went to bed. I scratched out one of my life goals. It was, as I had expected, magnificent and we lay there, soaking up a moment of sorts, and wondering why it had taken us so long. But things move at their own pace sometimes and I was sure that it was meant to be; after all, we were friends and she cared for me more than any other girl I had wasted time on.
She declared our anniversary a national holiday.
I have never known love like it, that shines and sings a song to me.
Last night I hurried my writing along, and then brushed my teeth and got into bed before her – the rarest of occasions. I was able, from my reclined pose on the bed, to watch her undress. She disrobed herself of her black garb. Her white skin stood out. She took her trousers off – with great difficulty because they clung to her – and then her breasts from her bra.
She was beside me.
I was had been leaning against the side of a building that had been bought out by a bank. A sweet girl came to my side and said—‘Nostalgia as mourning? Interesting.’
‘It’s a weakness,’ I supposed.
Two-hundred and twelve days.
She nodded her head against the traffic’s smog—‘Maybe, yes.’ Pausing, she took out a map and held it to the light—‘I would consider it many things, but why a weakness?’
I did not know, but, before, it had always caused me so much pain! Now, when I recount the journey from Euston to my flat, I am filled with joy. What would the journey hold for me now that I haven’t made it in over a month? So tender are the nerves of nostalgia! They are likely to electrify themselves at the smallest of stimuli, at a fraction of love’s quivering. What will the journey hold for me in future? I see myself, rocking on the tube, somersaulting in thought and memory, alive, a little bit crooked, loved and loving.

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