On Love, Pain and Life
He looked deeply in my eyes, incomprehensible. I didn’t know what to think or what he was thinking. I could see myself in his eyes, incomprehensible. We were both on the verge of an unknown. I could see myself in his silent gaze, reflected distortedly like waves in a dark pond. My eyes burned and my voice was hoarse. But my eyes and my voice were worthless, for I didn’t know what to see or what to say.
We were mute, he panted. I couldn’t face his relentless gaze. The words wouldn’t come out. I only cried ardently.
To fill our chasms, we sought each other. So we could find ourselves in this world. What we didn’t know, is that filling a chasm is more than a war. What we didn’t know is that love leaves us on the edge of the abyss. Something that takes us out of our balanced life, puts us in the tension of a tightrope. Because we didn’t realize the many contradictions of love. Of its composure of hatred, pain and sadness. Maybe because we didn’t want to see. Because we didn’t want to admit that something like love could hurt so badly. We thought that Pain came the other way, but it was from the beginning in the shadow of passion, behind the smile of happiness.
We were touching the paradox of love.
My heart was beating fast, but inside of me it felt slow. It was like a clock ticking. Or like a bomb about to explode.
He’d leave that morning. My last night with him. There was so little time, even less because we were going to sleep and we wouldn’t see the hours pass. In the morning, he had to leave. “Don’t you wanna stay more?” I asked with a weak smile on with useless hopes of having a little more time. “I can’t, I need to go to work later.” “Not even a bit more?” “I can’t, I need to go shopping now, you know that.”
I turned the key slowly and, slowly, turned the knob for him to leave, hoping to gain a few more seconds with him. You know that moment so brief that it extends into an infinity? That was one of them. Only it was not a good one. It was the saddest of all. I knew trying to delay him was useless. He’d leave sooner or later. I hesitated a little to open a door, but at last I opened it. We said goodbye with a brief, dry hug. He smiled at me. I knew that after he disappeared into the street, I would never see him again. After closing the door, I even peeked through the magic eye to see if he’d run back. But he didn’t even look back.
My body burned inside. I couldn’t cry. I cried when I was alone, I cried when I was with him. But at that moment nothing came out, and that hurt even more. Sadness, arid, devoured my insides. I’d rather cry the tears with which I was already so accustomed. But Pain only burned me. I sat down on the couch in the living room. And I stayed there for hours, thinking about our entire path so far. Sitting there next to me as he always sat. But now, I would be alone again.
I didn’t despair as I thought I would despair. I didn’t cry as I thought I would cry. And I didn’t even tear apart as I thought I would. There was not a single tear. Sitting on the couch I kept asking myself “Now what?”. It was a silent sadness. It was like I had cried all I had to cry before, and now all that remained was a silent wasteland. I’d wake up alone every morning, eat lunch, dine, do my laundry, brush my teeth, watch TV. In silence. I don’t quite understand why, but I couldn’t cry, even if I wanted to. That Pain was no longer the voracious Pain I once knew. It wasn’t sharp, it was calm, soft. I felt bad for not even being able to suffer any more. I don’t know if it means that I’ve matured and understood that people come and go, and no tears will bring them back, or if everything I became was a cold person. And if becoming mature were synonym for coldness, I would never want to mature. I’d like to be forever that silly child who cries openly, exploding his lungs and throat. Who doesn’t disguise the sadness, and that when asked if everything is well, he has the audacity to say “no”. But no. If anyone asks me, I’ll respond with a smile that I’m fine. Right now, I was inert inside.
Time stood still in me. I stayed until dark on the couch thinking about that same scene. Again and again. Petrified.
Even if we vanish… even if we take off to beyond memory, or even if the departure leaves us in pieces on the floor, the world won’t stop for us to get up. It’ll continue to spin as if nothing had happened. As if we had never existed, perhaps, if we ever have. We’ll have to wake up with an empty seat next to us every morning. We’ll have to come home at night and find the lights off, just the mute furniture waiting for us, without the cozy smell of a cooking dinner. We’ll have to live one day after another, greeting our acquaintances, laughing at the funny things they say. Go to the parties, the movies, visit our relatives, go out with friends. I’ll have to learn to live without your smile and your fondling in the dark hours. I’ll have to learn to live only with the echo of your voice in my distant and lost thoughts in lunch time, until someone says, “Hey, are you listening?” Because, after all, we should live. Because the world won’t stop spinning.
It’s painful having to smile when all I want is to cry hard, someone next to me and a tight hug. Having to lie in bed and make friends with the shadows on the cold walls of my room. Having to talk to my memories. But time will pass and, slowly, the Pain will go with it. It’ll make me stronger to withstand Pain, and gradually our blunt memories will become increasingly hazy, until one day they will be just scattered fragments of a past. So I can smile when I talk about you, about how our life so brief and so beautiful. How you’d hold me and cover me when I was cold. Smile, no more crying.
Because, in spite of everything, we must live.
Because the world won’t stop.