, or the catharsis continues.

The song that has been playing in my head is Jamiroquai’s Love Foolosophy. Even with the vodka (double Flirt for a double-flirt) on her breath and her conscience telling her she should stay away from me,

“Get out of my head!”, she keeps saying,

I want to kiss her, to remind myself of what I lost and what I would probably never have again. We make googly eyes at each other and say the same silly things we always say: one day things between us may work, we are not yet done, we can only go up from here. Between her dreams of seeing the world and my dreams of stepping out of myself and embracing my youth before it runs out, there may never be a chance to recreate even a shadow of what we had. Now, she plays the comforting shoulder, listener, confidant, and I the wise friend, all-knowing and mature. What else can we do? Our timing is ever impeccable. We are always out of sync and far from each other. She has another thing going and so do I.

I have never asked her what her boyfriend’s name is. I have never asked her anything about him. I do not care, an apathy partly borne of guilt and a deep self-resentment. I ruined a great relationship with a beautiful woman, The Beautiful Woman, The One. Partly, it is that he is the embodiment of everything I am not: he is in her daily words and thoughts, he is the one she sends dirty WhatsApp messages to, he is the one she goes home with after a weekend out, he is the one fucking her. Him, not me.

He may as well be the devil and in this, my feelings of deficiency have taken on a peculiar bite. They would go very well with a shot of vodka (make that a triple Flirt, or Kibao, whatever, as long as it burns, cauterizes). I stay away, keeping a respectful distance, just like I had promised. One of the reasons I am still enamored with her is that I know she would never compromise herself, however seductive I prove to be. She may get mixed feelings but that is all they would be, feelings, and she would untangle herself from my clasp. I cannot be with her, not now, maybe never. And it is in the wanting of things we cannot have that kills us, no?

I still have one of her hair-clips, one I liberated during a stolen moment of passion in the backseat of her mother’s car. For days afterwards, it retained the smell of her hair, coconut and honey, and I caressed my face with it until the scents wore off, reaching out to her from across the void. And I cannot continue wanting her. And I cannot stop wanting her.

Flying on sunny wings,
silent wings,
the silence of a quiet heartbeat,
nary the thud of expectation,
no sound of the unquenchable yearning.



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