At some point in time, someone got the idea that theater lovers around the world would watch recorded live plays in cinemas. That same person fought with enough passion for the idea to make it possible for me to spend an otherwise uninspiring Sunday afternoon in Copenhagen watching a beautiful production of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, featuring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. They were brilliant. I wept like a child; doesn’t take much these days, but still. After the show, I walked along the harbor to my apartment, grabbed a beer and deleted my Facebook account. That felt good.
Laced up my Hoka’s, jumped up and down a few times, leaned slightly forward and started down the muddy trail. My first run in months, and still my stride felt light and smooth, my breathing effortless and relaxed. As the sun set, pale mist hovered above the golden brown grass of the meadow. It crept through every layer of fabric, chilled my body to the core and burned on my lips. As I reached the ocean, the strain of the run had thawed away any discomfort and I felt able to go on forever.
Then the thoughts of you appeared.
An hour, a mere minute, a fucking blink of an eye.
Can I have at least that? Just one more chance to hold her; feel the softness of her skin, the warmth of her breath against my neck, the strength of her fingers as she presses my head against her chest. Is that entirely out of the question?
Irreversibility?! What the hell?
I’m not asking for violations of any fundamental law of nature, a slight looping of the arrow of time will suffice. Really!
I make one tiny mistake… OK, you know what? Be that way. Stupid universe!
As we cross City Hall Square, you point to a bench.
“Let’s sit for a while,” you say, and we do.
Resting your head on my shoulder, you squeeze my hand gently. “I love you,” you say, voice breaking. “You know that, right?”
My lips part, but no words appear, so I just nod; you get up, kiss me and walk away.
Across the square, a large dog barks at a flock of pigeons. The frightened birds spiral upward away from their would-be attacker, conduct a few flybys, then set down in another, presumably safer, part of the square.
In the past few months, the world has changed, become less ridged, more forgiving, all fuzzy and soft around the edges.
When I first noticed I was watching a soccer game on TV. The players fought as ferociously as any I had ever seen, tackling hard, dribbling, elbowing their way down the manicured grass field like there was no tomorrow.
But something was different, less harsh.
I turned to see if my friends had also registered the transformation. That is when I realized the change was everywhere.
Then today the optometrist said that everything would soon go back to normal.
Slept in the Metro today and almost missed my stop, then spent five hours going through stacks of legal papers and reciprocating smiles from passing colleagues. They are nice people, though most seem able only to recall EITHER my name OR my face; they’ll recognize me but not remember my name, or call me by my right name and then realize, I’m not the one they wanted to talk to. Work done, I met with a friend at the library. We studied for a few hours, then ate burgers. Now, the sun has gone to bed, and so must I.
Staggering under the weight of countless sleepless nights, I enter center stage and gaze into the semi-darkness, where row upon row of blank faces counter every hope and dream with bone chilling indifference.
Beads of sweat trickle down my temples, stain the back of my shirt.
I swallow, then speak.
“Alas, poor Yorick!” I offer.
“Seriously?” someone says.
“I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite… ”
“Stop!” another one shouts. “For God’s sake!”
My mouth opens and closes.
The managing partner gets up, pads my shoulder, and shakes my hand and smiles.
Nevertheless, I know.
Won't get it.
Where I live, the sun doesn’t bother to get up until eight o’clock and only stays afloat a mere nine hours. Then it retreats and in doing so, it leaves us vitamin D deprived, coldblooded and depressed.
In this state of darkness, both figurative and real, we lie our asses off in surveys on happiness and conjure up stuff like rye bread, minimalistic furniture and beer, which we claim, is probably the best in the world; it really isn’t.
Kierkegaard advocated walks as a preventive measure against depression and a catalyst for thinking.
So I’ll walk, think and be cured.
I was grocery shopping, when Lea texted me: Pick me up at work, I’ll buy dinner.
Lea is a fried, nothing more. She works in an adult store situated in the heart of the Copenhagen red light district. And just so we’re clear: she sells toys and stuff, OK? She’s not an escort or anything like that. Not anymore.
I left my trolley next to a mountain of stacked up oranges and went to get her.
I’m quitting law school, she said as dinner arrived.
Why? I said.
I’m sick of it, she said flatly.
Question: why don’t I quit?
Stepping out of the shower, I find myself face to face with a naked man, tall, dark blond hair, sad green eyes. Saying nothing, he reaches for my towel.
I dry myself, and he watches, slowly fading away.
In the Metro, I sit down; open my book to the dialog between Golyadkin and Doctor Rutenspitz.
Nearing my destination the train slows. I look up. The tall man is next to me. He closes his book, gets up, exits.
I work all day at the law research library, alone.
But, as I go home on the train, the tall man returns.
This morning I met my thesis advisor for the first time. As I entered her office, she slid her glasses down the narrow ridge of her nose and frowned.
“You look tired,” she said.
“Homeland, the TV series. Five episodes last night.”
Her frown deepened. “Don’t waste my time.”
“I won’t,” I promised and spent the next two hours discussing my synopsis, the cases and articles I’m planning to use, and set project milestones.
At the end of our meeting, I was spent. Her frown had softened though.
Other things I’ve accomplished today: laundry, gym and another episode of Homeland.
Large wet snowflakes tumble through the air, blissfully ignorant of the unavoidable fatality that await upon impact.
A few seem to make it and for a while, those few gleam and shine, proud as hell in their ability to dress up the otherwise bland winter landscape in crystalline white garbs.
Then, they too are gone.
It’s Monday … need I say more?
I’m at work trying to look busy while secretly chiseling away on this the first chapter of a diary which I hope will eventually morph into something worthwhile.
Question: Is a continuous Drabble a Drabble at all? Hmm...