2018/2019 (Part 2)
(originally posted 1/1/2019)
She stood at the door and pressed the doorbell. She of the many last names and at least one nickname. Each change in name a conscious attempt at transformation.
There was no answer.
So she of the many last names and at least one nickname knocked, softly at first then louder. It was eleven thirty on New Year’s Eve but she had assumed he would be home.
She was making a grand gesture. He would assume she was off living the life that had caused their split, New Year’s Eve being the high holy day of irresponsible behavior, but instead she would arrive at his door bearing gifts, offering apologies and the affection he so craved and he would hop back on the rollercoaster. At least, that was the plan.
He wasn’t home.
For a moment, unprovoked, she thought about the scene in Good Will Hunting where Ben Affleck’s character walked up to the door of Matt Damon’s character only to find him not there. What was it she was hoping for?
She stood there for few moments and thought about calling him. Instead she tried the doorknob and found that the door was open. She thought about texting him but instead turned the handle and went inside.
She said his name out loud and although the space wasn’t big enough to echo it seemed to confirm that not only was he not home but the apartment was truly empty.
She walked over to the kitchen table and put down the book she had bought for him. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations, a mini-anthology of poetry and stories by Rainer Maria Rilke. It was filled with bookmarks, highlighting what she felt were particularly relevant bits of advice such as;
Self-transformation is precisely what life is, and human relationships, which are an extract of life, are the most changeable of all, rising and falling from minute to minute, and lovers are those in whose relationship and contact no one moment resembles another.
She wondered where he was. She wondered if he was happy and what he was doing and if he was wondering where she was and if she was happy. She wondered how long it was until the ball dropped in Times Square and if she was going to get the kiss she had hoped for.
She walked over to his stereo to see what CD he had last listened to, believing that if you know that information you know a man’s heart.
For the duration of the CD at least.
Technicolor by Chris Trapper. She didn’t know it… and so she didn’t know what was in his heart the last time he stood where she stood. Suddenly the room felt not only empty but like it could stay empty. If she knew that he’d listened to The Accident ten times in a row before hitting the power button it would have felt worse (“walk beside me, through the thunder, cause I fear what’s comin round the corner’s more than one of us can take alone”).
“Oh well” she said to herself and then tried to paraphrase Epictetus the best she could; “What harm is it while you are wanting to kiss your friend to say with a lisping voice, “Tomorrow you will go away or I shall, and never shall we see one another again”?”
She sighed then said aloud “Tomorrow you will go away or I shall, and never shall we see one another again.”
She walked into his bedroom. The place he’d wanted her to wake up so many times before. She looked at her phone. It was eleven forty eight. She opened a drawer.
His socks and underwear were gone.
She didn’t need to check the closet to know his shirts were AWOL.
She sat on the corner of his bed. She could feel New Year’s Eve coming. 2019 was circling like a bird of prey.
For better or worse, slopes run and picked daises aside, she was not going to get Lucky.
“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”