"We must be careful with our love," they said.
Everything is measured out and we must follow instructions:
Two hugs with arms loose then tight
Five teaspoons of hand touching, the tips nothing more
A tablespoon of hand holding, palms pressed together, fingers laced
Glances of two kilograms
-- They can be generous, they said --
But just two milliliters of staring into each other's eyes
No accidental touches, hair fixing, shirt grabbing, lint picking, head bumping;
It will burn our love, toughen the inside, harden the outside, ruin our love or so they said.
And when we do make love, we bake it three times a day 365 days a year.
The oven we set at 143 degrees Celsius of silence.
(No good mornings or I-love-you's. Just nods and smiles and glances.)
But tonight we chose not to bake.
Let them go hungry for our love.
We're making it our way.
Are you a glass half-empty kind of guy?
Or a "fuck the glass, give me the entire damn bottle" kind?
We are kleptomaniacs in the streets of
Picking things up like
habits and phrases,
and forgetting to return them.
People can do anything for shock value alone.
Take electrocution for instance.
Never forget to knot the end
"Go in? But if he isn't here, who do I report to-"
"Quack quack quack."
"Miss? Miss! Why is there a-"
"Quack quack, Quack. Quack quack quack quack."
"He left you in charge? But you're-"
"I was going to say... Never mind. Wait, what do you mean you're overqualified?"
"Quack, quack quack quack quack quack quack. Quack quack."
"You're the Death of-"
"Oh! I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Quack quack quack."
"Yes, sir. I'll make this as quick as possible, sir. You must be so busy with preparations for the hunting season."
"Quick! Sorry, sir. Right, to business then."
Who are you? what makes you you? Are you born with intrinsic you-ness? Or are you simply a collection of different things and themes and ideas and habits? do you think you are unique? or are we a repeated pattern of identities? if you forget who you are, would you search for the past you? or build a totally new you? if you changed bodies, would your identity change as well?
Should they be happy? What about death? Happy endings = joyful deaths, perhaps. Should all stories have endings. What about beginning at the end? Do you look forward to endings? To the destination? Or is the journey more important?
"Got a light?" he said.
"Tell me a story first," I replied.
After some time, he ended with:
"And here I am."
I gave him the sun,
but I think I might've shortchanged him.
Everyone talks of the light at the end but no one told me I'd step out of the tunnel with bloodied fingers and lost fingernails. In the dark, one can forget the struggle. In a void, one can forget one's self.
I look around me and everything is white. The reality sets in.
There is light, all right. But nothing else.
I find myself bending down and stepping back into the darkness, putting back the dirt and rock and stone and blood and bone, back into place.
People will speak of the liberty I had foregone, the truth that should've cut me loose from the mindless tunnel. I will tell them otherwise. I had found the truth and brought it with me. The truth was that I was free the entire time.
I choose to keep digging until I am elsewhere. Whether there's light or not won't matter.
By the time you read this, I will be gone. Not away, just not here anymore. Notice the warmth of the chair you sit on or the warmth that was.
I will have vanished and I don't know where I will have gone. I need you to find me but the bigger problem isn't where or even when.
It's who. As you now know, you don't know who I am.
You have forgotten.
I don't have time to tell you everything not now, not through this. Find me and you'll find out the truth. Of me and you and why you are sitting here, reading this right now. Your memory, what you remember before reading this is a lie.
They've done something to you. They do things, unspeakable, unimaginable things. Do not trust them.
I've left you clues. I pray you understand them.
The first one is last.
One by one I place my fingers where your fingerprints mark the glass, marked the glass, will mark it. When does not exist. I hold unto where and where is here, the Dream Cafe. You have yet to arrive. I sit on the chair you have just vacated. We are seated by the window with our backs sharing the same cushion.
No ticks or tocks invade here - after all, a dream can be time stopped, time gone by, time never happened. We collect spaces and things, and places are the most concrete constructions we can cling to.
We share the same glass I dropped, you shattered, I got, you returned. I press my lips to the rim and feel the warmth of your breath, taste the coldness of old coffee. I look out the window and into the star-filled black-blue of void and remember you, forget you, never met you, will see you soon.
Soon is hypothetical in the Dream Cafe.