Sunday, July 1, 2007

Chapter 27 : All these things that i've done

“I dreamt that we were looking for each other, but we couldn’t see our faces, for small veils covered our eyes.
I called for you, and I wanted so much to hear your voice, my beloved, that I fell prey to despair because silence was my only answer.
Whole lives flashed before my eyes. Generations went by in a blink of an eye.
After I wandered for an eternity, the horizon brought white shores, where a siren’s voice beckoned for me; as if calling the ships to port.
I found you there, wrapped in a cloak of leafy green, arms wide open for me.”

“I held you by your hand, and in it I left a kiss, frozen by all the Winters that were, and could never be…
And we danced, through all nights, though the ages, to the end of all loves… We danced.
The stars paraded themselves before us, and surrendered to our infinite grace.
Wrapped in that starry blanket of nightfall, my Queen, we were poetry in motion.
Celestial pantheons stood in awe before our perfect union. It was written in the stars; our destinies forever entwined.
Then… a pull, as if my very life was being taken away from me… and I saw you fade, disappearing into nothingness, away from me, further and further away, until the distant horizon claimed you.”

“And I wept, my love, for it was as if my soul had been stolen from me.
I cried for lo those thousands of years, my muse, for light itself had fled from my life.
And I cried to the heavens, with such grief in my words.
With God’s own voice, I said :

There will never be one that will love you like I do; For loving you is like dying anew every single day, thinking only of the moment when reborn I would be with you again.”

“And I woke…
Inside me, nothing but the emptiest of feelings. Inside me, the will that had to become my Destiny made manifest, that one day, I would find your arms, even if I had to search for them my whole life.
Inside me, the will to show you heaven through my lips.
But above all, inexorably, inescapably, the will to make you mine until the end of time.”

I didn’t even know you, but I missed you so much… I hungered so for your voice… I yearned for your touch. For your lips.
And I didn’t even know your name, Marcia.

We had gone for a walk by the shore, and after lunch, we sat down on the rocks to watch the eternal struggle of the waves, breaking valiantly against the sea-torn fingers that stuck out from under the roiling waters, against the walls eroded by salt and age, one after the other.
We sat motionless, silent, and out of nowhere I started to tell you the dream I had with you, one year and a half ago.
Sure, I may have omitted certain parts, I didn’t want to leave you thinking that I was maybe some hopeless romantic, or even worse, that I had just escaped from a mental institution… but I told you enough so that you had a nice picture of it in the end.

You know, I remember so well the night I saw you for the first time…
As soon as I looked at you, I knew it would be a bad idea if I ever saw you again, and so for a whole year, or near enough as makes no difference, I didn’t so much as go out even once, for fear of seeing you again.
Stupid, I know, but it did it for me, and for you, and I’ll even own up to giving done it for secretly harbouring the thought that maybe one day there would be an ‘us’.
It’s curious, but when I saw you next, I felt that cold feeling inside, those butterflies in my stomach; something I hadn’t felt since I was maybe, fifteen, sixteen.
And if part of me felt awkward, even slightly bothered, another smiled a naïve and childlike smile; and dared to dream of something.

Where I found that courage, I will never know. But I went to you, said something that was very probably very stupid, and you laughed.
For long seconds, I confess, I feared that you were laughing at me, before finally I understood that you are laughing for me, just for me.
We talked all night long, and in the end you gave me your phone number, and I gave you mine.
It took a fortnight of gathering my nerve, just to call you, and when I ultimately did it, you sounded so mad at me…
You said that I had forgotten all about you, and for one second I lost my words.
You laughed again, that laughter that seems to come from the very core of your heart, and you told me that you were happy that I called.
We started going out, and throughout all these months I dare say we became the closest of friends, and now there aren’t that many people in this world that know me as well as you do.
You know things about me that only Jon ever knew, things so intrinsically mine that even Sophie never knew.
And soon I must tell you who I am.
Soon I must tell you the truth.

We walked in silence for some minutes, trudging slowly over wet sand, and wind bore with it a fragrance full of salt and melancholy, bearing songs from other time, other lives.
You felt a sudden chill, and closed your jacket. We sat down again, and we looked ate ach other, then to the sun that set even as we watched him, in tones of red, and orange, and closer to the horizon, in a deep purple, as the lengthening shadows mourned the coming night.
“Wow”, you said, years, hours, minutes later. “It’s beautiful.”
“And I don’t mean just the sunset. What you told me. Your dream. It’s the most beautiful thing anyone’s ever told me “, you said.
“But tell me”, you asked, squeezing my hand hard, “how is it possible that you can dream about someone you’d only seen just the once, and how can you have a dream like that, so beautiful, so amazing, so… I don’t know, so poetic? Is that the word? I don’t know.”, you continued.
“I don’t know how to describe it”, you said, “but at least to me, it looked like a collection of beautiful portraits, or… or… and I was in it!”, you enthused joyfully.
“Why me?”, you asked.

I don’t know, I can’t imagine, how long I sat thinking about your question.
I don’t have an answer to your question, little girl.
I am not, nor have ever been an oneiromancer, one to interpret what my dreams mean, and I had stopped caring about my dreams long ago.
You want me to tell you why I dreamt of you that night?
You want me to tell you that I could have only dreamed that dream if you were in it?
You want me to tell you that that night, in the midst of so many people, surrounded by that veritable wall of sound, I saw the richest sunset in your eyes, just as I see now?
That in the laughter that I didn’t hear, I heard a choir full of longing, and that I have never stopped thinking about you since?
I pulled up my legs, so that I could be a bit more comfortable, and you put your arm around mine, leaning your head to my shoulder.
In a moment of madness, I kiss you on your forehead.
You drew back, and stared at me perplexed.
“Where did that come from?”, you asked.
Great, I only manage to fuck things up. Nice going.
I got a bit disoriented, totally and utterly lost. I had forgotten how to deal with people.
I had forgotten my place, and who I am.
But, and against any and all expectations I might have had, I see you smile.
And with that smile that played upon your lips, you stared longingly at me, and then, as if in a movie, as in one of those romantic movies where everything always has a happy ending, your lips slowly got closer to mine.

“No”, I thought.
“No”, I told you.
“No?”, you asked, disbelief echoing in your voice.
“No”, I repeated. “Listen…”
I stopped for a few seconds, breathed deep, then said, “I like you, Marcia.”
“You do?”, you smiled.
“It’s good to know that”, you continued, still somewhat stunned, “but then why did—
“, you were saying, but I had to interrupt you.
“Because there are things you should know. Because you have to know what I did, and who I was, and what I am.”
“I don’t care about that, Will, You know that.”, you said.
“You should. Now, please, listen to me.”
Then and there, I wanted so bad to just go for something, a beer, a whiskey, anything…
I curse the day I ever made you that promise, Jon Snow.
And I am glad I made it.

“I suppose I’d better start at the beginning?”, I said, more than asked.
“Fair enough. I, huh… a long time ago I had this relationship with a girl, Sophie.”
“And I guess it was quite a long one, our thing, at least according to my patterns. Almost three years, it was.”
“And it was so good. Well, for a good long while, it was very, very good. But towards the end…”
I paused.
I got up, caught a pebble and threw it into the water.
I sat back down and said :
“I don’t know what happened to us, you see? One day everything was just perfect, we played with the idea of maybe getting married, having kids, you know the drill.
Those small lies we keep saying in a relationship to make it last, to keep us together, so that we’d never feel the bitter sting of loneliness ever again.”
“And truth is, however much we try to stretch things, one day you’ll stretch it just a bit too much, and it will break. So one day we started fighting, and that’s all we seemed able to do. Days would go by and we wouldn’t even kiss each other, or touch each other.”
“It’s likely we weren’t having sex together for months, when we broke up.”
“And I have no idea what happened to us, even after all this time”, I repeated.
“So one day she tells me she met somebody else, that she felt happier with him, all the usual stuff, blah blah blah.”
“And that was the end of our story.”
“Well, sort of, because you see, I was still madly in love with her.”

I hope to God that you didn’t catch the look in my eyes, Marcia. I had so much pain and anger in them, anger at all that had happened, at everything that I became… if you had seen my eyes, you would have thought me some kind of animal.
But that’s what I am, right?
A vulture.

“The mere thought that she was with some other guy left me sick. And trust me, this was not a frustrated macho thing, some stupid territory issue I might have. It was because I deeply loved her. I really did.”
“And one day I see them together.”
“My heart, already so battered and bruised, broke in to so many little pieces. And I did something so stupid.”
“What?”, you asked. “What did you do?”
“Understand. Or don’t. But I was severely depressed, and even worse, I was very drunk.”
“And when I saw them…. Well, had Jon not been there, it would have been so much worse.”
“What the hell did you do, Sandor?”, you asked.
I sighed a long sigh of grief. It was years ago, but It still feels like it was yesterday…

“I called her names. Ugly names. I said that she was a fucking whore. And then I tried to hit the poor guy she was with.”
“But that’s relatively nice, compared to what I did after that.”
I coughed violently and suddenly, and I closed my jacket too. Autumn was cold this year, too cold.
And we all know what comes after Autumn.
“Oh God”, you said. “I’m actually afraid to know. What could be possibly worse than that?”, you asked, impatience in your every word.
“Not much”, I added. “I just begged her to take me back. Or I might have said that she could come back to me, I don’t know. But I crawled, literally.”
“And what did she say?”, you asked.
“She said I was pathetic”, I admitted, with a shrug.
“Maybe she was right, too. And the worst thing in all this is, the guy she left me for? Jeez, he’s just so… so normal. He’s just like so many other guys you see out there, so unremarkable. Well, could be he was a real Rocco Siffredi.”
“Who?”, you asked. “Never mind”, I said. “The truth is I felt like shit. Like a germ. Worse than that. Less than nothing.”
“And for months on end, I came to hate the face that looked at me from the other side of the mirror. I literally spent entire months completely drunk, and to my great dismay, every time I went out, I always managed to see her. With a different guy.”
“The fucking slut”, you said indignantly.
“Nah, don’t be like that.”, I said. “I’m not trying to defend her, I’m just trying to say that after all that, I still managed to fall even farther.”

“I hated myself so much, that I knew deep down that no one could ever hate me as well as I did. And I felt so hurt, that I thought that that pain gave me the right to hurt other people.”
“So one night I meet this girl in a bar I used to go to, and by God, it was so easy to seduce her, and take her to bed. I thought, if it had been that easy, why not keep on doing it?”
“And so, for two years, two long and unending years, that was what I did. I became the shell, the shadow of who I was. I became an animal. And I liked to thought that I was truly a bird of prey, a silver eagle, my talons sharp.”
“But, heh, I got it all wrong. Sure, I was a bird, only a bird of the carrion kind.”
“And I hurt so many people… I saw them as so much chewing gum, to be chewed, then spit out.”

It speaks volumes for my courage the fact that I was telling you all this without even so much as looking at you.
And the minute I do look at you, I see you crying. One more you hurt, Casanova.
“Secretly, I think I wanted to kill myself, Marcia. Somewhere along the way I had lost all my will to live, and I was killing myself slowly. I never was brave enough, or stupid enough to do something like that, but I killed myself in other ways.
I felt scorn for myself… I had become so cold. An alcohol-fuelled iceberg that fancied himself a playboy, shallower than…”
I nodded sadly.
“The best thing is, no the worst, actually, is that I wasn’t like this before. I was someone so different. Not this.”
“I loved to read. I lived poetry. I would go to the movies, and to plays, I loved music so very much. I was always wandering around, constantly mazes at the true beauty of all that surrounds us.”
“One day I woke up, and I no longer was that person. That Sandor was dead. And he died because I chose, conscientiously, to let him die. I chose to be an awful person. And I lost all I had.”

“One day I hit rock bottom, and got so drunk to my job… an hour later I was on the street, they fired my sorry ass. I was working in a publishing house, and I kinda bullied the guys at work that day, and I very well told my boss that he could go fuck himself.”
“But I also did manage to drive what few friends I had away from me. Do you know, Snow is the only one I have left.”
“Out of a job, all my meagre savings were spent in no time, and boy, was it money well spent”, I said sarcastically.
“Soon after, so that I might survive, I had to sell for a fraction of their real price things that were precious to me; the books I promised I would keep forever, the books that I so loved and was so proud of. And believe me when I tell you that it is indeed a very cruel pain to hear some stranger making you a ridiculous offer for something you know is worth twenty tines over what you are offered, and especially that person makes it sound like she’s doing you a favour, that her time is of such great value that she can’t listen to your complaints… but in the end, you have to, you must accept what is being put on the table, because you direly need it.”
I got up once more, and spat into the sea.
“And when you thought I couldn’t do any worse…”

I would have given anything not to have seen that look you gave me, full of horror and revulsion.
“Why the hell should I bother to make an effort just to get laid with some girl, I thought one day.”
“Oh, I had a number of girls on my cell that I could call anytime; tele-fucks, I called them.”
“Only most of them, maybe even all of them were girls that I might had to apologize to, and you know, call me crazy, but I never thought that calling a girl and say “Hey, how are you doing? So sorry I never said anything, you know me, busy man, barely have time for myself, but I kind of fancy you, wanna fuck?” would be such a nice strategy.”
“I had an epiphany. A revelation, of sorts. ‘And God said, “Let there be light”. And there was light!’, Genesis, line three. And I saw the light : if I get me a girlfriend, why, that’s like sex without all the effort! Brilliant! How had I never thought about that? And you want to know what the best bit is? I didn’t even have to like her!”
“So I went and did it. I met a girl around ten in the evening, twenty minutes or so later we were kissing, before three A.M. I was doing her, and come next day, we were an item already.”

To this very day I cannot understand how you were able to hear me speak all that crap, and not once did you hit me, or threw up on me. You should have called every name in creation.
Because if I were you I would have done it. And I deserved it.
“Ah, Marcia… I was so mean to her… so mean…”
“I made her so many promises, and lied so much. So much. I made her fall in love with me. I made her love me.”, I sighed.
“So, happily for me, one day I go out and meet another girl. And something I wasn’t expecting happens.”
“I was getting ready to go to Playboy mode when my… consciousness, or whatever it’s called, made me feel guilty. An echo from the person I used to be once upon a time appeared from God knows where and opened up my eyes. I stood staring at this girl I had just met, without a single word to say to her.”
“I panicked. I faked a phone call, rushed out of the bar so I could pretend that I needed privacy, or maybe because I couldn’t hear anything, or some other stupid reason.”
“And I ran to my place.”
“I had the most awful night, like, ever, full of nightmares. When I woke up the next day, I knew what I had to do. Without any explanation given to the girl that I was going out with, I stopped talking to her. I didn’t return her calls, or her texts. I even had to change my phone number.”

“And I thought I would change. That I could change. But needless to say that after about three or four day, I returned to my old haunts. And that was my life up until two and a half years ago, give or take.”
“Important things happened to me back then.”
“One of them, and maybe the single worst thing I ever did, was calling that girl I used to go out with one day, and I asked her if she’d like to maybe to for a drink, or something. I ended up asking her if she would take me back. Understandable, she said that I go fuck myself.”
I don’t know why, but I laughed. A madman’s laughter, like some crazy soul dancing over that thin razor’s edge we call sanity, until I started to cry.
“The day after that, I met a friend of mine. Well, at least just this girl I used to know, and when I thought I knew how this night was going to end, she blows me away. Oh yeah, my crowning achievement that night was having the shit kicked out of me. I almost died.”

And I should have died, I thought. At least that way I would bring some comfort and justice to everyone I ever hurt.
Naturally, you were distant from me, though you were by my side.
What I didn’t understand, at least not then, was the tenderness in your eyes.

“I woke up on a bed on a hospital, you know? Something I never thought would happen to me. In the middle of people crying, and howling with pain, and that awful smell of sick or near dead people, I wanted to be reborn to life. I swore to myself that I would change, that I would be someone good again… oh well. The road to hell and good intentions, right?”
“I was barely out of the hospital when I picked up some girl, a Barbie doll that I met during my stay.”
It had gotten violently dark, night fell with all her force, and the cold started to seep.
I wanted so much for you to hold me, but I knew I had a very slim chance of that.
“I went out with her soon after that, and that night… well, I was also with Snow, and his night didn’t quite go according to plan, and he just freaked out with me. He dragged me away from where we were, by one of my ears, no less, and the next day he opened his heart for me.”
“I swear, it was as if Jesus Christ himself had descended just to talk to me. He told me so many things… things I knew, that I could not deny, that were there for all to see. I realized then how disgusting I had become. I saw all that I had lost during all this time, all that I had sacrificed. All that made me the person I once was, the person he so well knew, and that no longer was.”
“And after hearing his words, and after he left, I made a decision.”
“I decided to die.”

“The next day, I just left. I left all behind. I do admit I could have done things some other way, but there you go, that was the way things happened, and no good will come out of thinking otherwise.”
“For a year, a very long year I was away from everything. I stayed for a while in northern Africa, then in a convent, too. I forced myself to forget the meaning of a touch, of a kiss. I willed myself to forget what it felt like to hear laughter, or to see someone smile.”
“I taught myself, through silence, how to be good.”
“And I think I was successful; nowadays I’m able to look myself in the mirror again.”
“For a long, long time now, Marcia, I have not kissed anyone. I have not touched anyone. And I feel good because of that. I’m not saying that I’m perfect, nothing of the kind. I know I deserve some cosmic retribution for all these things that I’ve done. I firmly believe that there is a very special hell saved just for me.”
“But I dare say that I’m a nice person, now. Or at least I labour under that misapprehension.”
“This is my truth, little girl, and now that you know it, now that I’ve told you the worst I could ever tell you about me, I will tell you why I dreamt of you, that night when we first met.”
“I’m not afraid anymore, you see? I’m not afraid to say it. Do you want me to say it?”
“Tell me”, you asked, and your voice, Marcia, your voice! How it hurt to hear that voice that made me cry…
“Because I love you, Marcia. I have loved you from the first second I laid my eyes on you. And I tell you this without any reservations whatsoever. I tell you this because this is something I’ve carried with me for a long time.”
“I love you, Marcia.”

“Now, I’m not going to ask you to take my word for all that I have claimed, or to give me any kind of chance, no.”
“A while ago you wanted to kiss me.”
“After all that you have heard, do you still want to? Think about that.”
“Now you know who I was, and what I was. Now you know how I feel for you, and only you can say if it means anything at all to you.”
“Think about this. It’s all I ask.”

I'll keep my distance
These things I never seem to mean
So I leave the murder scene"

Editors, Distance


cris said...

I'm wordless... don't know what to say... to many feelings, sensations inside me now...

Fez-me sonhar acordada...

and i feel that the story it's really about to end... :(

Ad Astra said...

I think when you read the next chapter you'll see where this is going.
It's Natalie's last chapter, she won't be in the story again.
Then comes Marcia's chapter, and last but not least, an epilogue that will either be called "How it ends", or "When it comes it's so, so disappointing."


Anonymous said...

there are these words that now and then come to my mind, like a recurrent dream, and as i read this yet unfinished story, i thought about them innumerable times.
(i'll copy the introduction also cause coincidently it suits all this like a glove...)

"There are stories of coincidence and chance, and intersections and strange things told, and which is which and who only knows? And we generally say, "Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn't believe it." Someone's so-and-so met someone else's so-and-so and so on. And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that strange things happen all the time. And so it goes, and so it goes.

And the book says,

"We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."

Ad Astra said...

You know me better than that. By now, you do.
And my past is what caused all this mess.
But i'll tell you why later.
Intent and outcome are so rarely coincident, indeed.
Seduce and destroy, sure.

Off topic 1 : Set list for 06/07/07

Depeche Mode : Policy of truth
Dave Gahan : Song for Europe
Classic Nouveaux : Never Again
Ultravox : Vienna
The Stranglers : Always the sun
Echo & The Bunnymen : The cutter
Peter Murphy : Hit song
The Cure : In between days (Dedicated to Eunice, no idea who she is, but she left me a cool video on my Hi5)
Suede : Animal nitrate
Blur : Beetlebum
The Smiths : This charming man
U2 : Sunday bloody Sunday
Patrick Wolf : Accident & Emergency
The Gift : Ok, do you want something simple?
Shiny Toy Guns : You are the one
Union of Knives : Operated on (Dedicated to Jo from Scotland and Tori from England)
The Rapture : Gonna get myself into it
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah : The skin of my yellow country teeth
Franz Ferdinand : Auf achse
Placebo : Post blue
The Strokes : You only live once (Don’t ask me why, little girl, but this one goes out to you, Alice! )
The Rakes : 22 grand job
Interpol : C’mere (Dedicated to everyone that saw them NOT play this song live two days ago…)
Bloc Party : Hunting for witches
Kaiser Chiefs : I predict a riot
Arctic Monkeys : When the sun goes down
Muse : Map of the problematique
Editors : Smokers outside the hospital doors (Dedicated to Cristina!)
The Killers : Read my mind (Dedicated to Rosa from Italy)
Morrissey : Irish Blood, English Heart
The Stone Roses : I wanna be adored
Radiohead : Let down (Dedicated to everyone who feel this way; It’s how I feel right now… L )
Placebo : Days before you came
Arctic Monkeys : Brianstorm
Ornatos Violeta : Capitão Romance (Dedicated to the lovely Maura!)
Gnarls Barkley : Crazy
Gorillaz : Dare
Timbaland feat. She Wants Revenge : Time
Ladytron : Destroy everything you touch
Depeche Mode : Lillian
!!! : Heart of Hearts
LCD Soundsystem : Tribulations
Klaxons : Golden Skans
Interpol : Not even jail
Bloc Party : Banquet
Muse : Can’t take my eyes off you
The Smiths : Bigmouth strikes again (How I feel every time I say something, Ladybird, so this one is dedicated to you! Too bad you didn’t make it, I even wore my kilt!)
Franz Ferdinand : This fire
Kings Of Leon : On call
Arctic Monkeys : I bet you look good on the dance floor
Editors : Munich (Dedicated to Hugo in Italy!)
The White Stripes : Seven nation army
She Wants Revenge : Out of control
Morrissey : Suedehead
Blur : Girls and boys
The Strokes : Last nite
The Killers : All these things that I’ve done
Placebo : The Bitter end
Klaxons : Atlantis to Interzone
Arcade Fire : Rebellion (lies)
Muse : Starlight (Dedicated to my good friend Kelly!)
Union Of Knives : Evil has never
The Strokes : Hawaii (On request, and dedicated to Helena, my partner in crime. God, what a massive hangover…)
The Dears : Whites only party
She Wants Revenge : Broken promises for broken hearts
Franz Ferdinand : Do you want to (Dedicated to my friend Hugo, who stayed home instead of coming to see me…)
Depeche Mode : Enjoy the silence (Dedicated to someone very dear to me, someone who is SILence itself for me…)
The Smiths : Panic (Dedicated to… me! Hang the DJ!)
Clan Of Xymox : Louise (Dedicated to sweet Vânia from Braga!)
Radiohead : Karma Police (Dedicated to Buttercup, someone who long ago made me see that I can still dream.)
Trash Palace feat Brian Molko and Asia Argento : Je t’aime, moi non plus
The Divine Comedy : If… (Dedicated to my very good friend Sergio, a pity we don’t see each other more often; thanks for everything yesterday)
DeVotchka : How it ends
Blur : Tender
The Verve : The drugs don’t work

Off topic 2 : I know i haven't posted something in a while, but what with SBSR and my gig last night, i didn't have much time in my hands... but rest assured, chapter 28 is being wrtitten!

Off topic 3 : Oh, wow, that poll thingy in the left side bar is just a huge success!
Two, count'em, two! votes so far!
But you know, i really need people to vote on the next poll, depending on how you vote, the story will go either way...