Unrequited

thought30Jan08At an undefined place, an undefined couple eat an undefined meal together. They talk across the table, each question and answer bringing them closer to definitions. She desires that. For his part, he likes mystery, sees his absent identity as the vital trait making him himself. She adds to what she knows about him, and he fights being known.

When he leaves the frame, he disappears, but she continues assembling him. What she remembers and what she invents are barely different, each the mirror of the other, and a picture forms from mist. She makes a face for him. All that she guesses tells her the face is real, whatever its deficits may say. While he’s away, he’s still in some sense there. He isn’t anything she cherishes, just something sensed and realized, enough.

He wants to return and delays, feeling named already, feeling embraced.

She waits. The clouds cradle the moon. The breeze doesn’t surge to attention, won’t arrest her thoughts of reunion. She watches other tables, looking for another story like their own.

She remembers another time, one hidden from her before, some part of her own definition she’s forgotten. Her father once warned her about this moment, once said she’d be deceived. Creation isn’t certainty, though it might feel so. Faith is made of steel, he’d said. Though you wish for more, it’s a wish and not him.

He pauses again. He watches an image staring back at him.

The sky loses its focus. The night barely proceeds and still passes. Has this music been playing all along? Has the table been between them all this time?

An itch rises. She thinks of all that can’t be true, and mountains collapse. The moon, despite its still place, sags. Her eyes identify she’s alone. He’s gone, and did he ever appear? Time, the ever patient, blinks.

He comes back to find her gone.

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Filed under Brave New World, Desire, Doubt, Fiction, Grief, Identity, Laments, life, Love, Metaphor, Modern Life, Pain, Parables, Thoughts, Time

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