Do you still remember the day we had lunch at Elocin’s Cafe? We were trying decide what was good, when all of sudden you said you had a tummy ache and needed to seek relief immediately. You told me your order and rushed off. For some reason, which I can’t remember, we were still texting each other over the phone while I was standing in line. And then you made a joke about “farts”, which escapes my memory as well. Words alone cannot describe how much I wish to retrieve those messages and relive that rapturous afternoon.
A little later, you came back. I was already seated at the table with the food set before us. We began as would most people begin – actually, I don’t remember how we began. But I remember us talking, some time into half our noodles, about my past relationship and about how it floundered before eventually collapsing. At first, it felt as if you were being inconspicuous about the mention of her name. Or maybe it was a little hesitancy in saying it aloud, for fear, perhaps, of reviving those painful aches in me. But, truly, I wasn’t at all bothered. So I said jocosely that she was a farm girl from Finland. And that I had met her on a dating website for aspiring farmers. I held my laughter in, and for a moment, it seemed as if you were being convinced by what I was saying, as incredulous as it sounded. Perhaps, I have never struck you as someone who employs such tricks, or perhaps it is simply your innocence that disposes you the believe the words of friends.
Still later, I made another joke and you told me that it wasn’t funny. I replied that you only the lacked the proper sense of humor to think it funny. We laughed about it. I wished that had retained some form of mortality, so that whenever one of us tells a bad joke, we could always return to a secret connection. Alas, if you are reading this, I imagine you must feel completely clueless; you must probably remember none of what I am speaking.
What about the time where I picked you up from the station. It was evening. I had written a letter for you and wanted to hand it to you on that same day. I kept it in the dashboard. When you opened it and saw your name scribbled on the front of the brown letter, you thanked me heartily and, placing your hand on my shoulder, told me that I’d make a good boyfriend. I have always wondered what exactly went through your mind as you made that remark. It was probably nothing other than an appreciative gesture; only that my mind takes it to places of colorful optimism.
Later that night, you sent me a message telling me how sweet the letter was. Thereafter followed a casual exchanging of messages. On the next morning, I greeted you in German. You greeted me back, and then asked me excitedly to teach you some German in the future. Coincidentally, on that day, you were attending an event themed after a beer fest in Germany. You were telling me all about it throughout the day. I have never since felt quite as complete as on that day.
Now, we hardly speak; neither in person, nor through messages. I don’t know how things ended up in this silence. Whenever we meet, you are usually turned away from me. And the only times we speak are when I remark audibly in your direction. But still, you would only acknowledge it with a fleeting smile. The conversation never lives. I don’t think I have the confidence anymore to speak to you. It’s a dreadful cycle. The more I remain reticent in your presence, the more my confidence dwindles. You see, I have forgotten how to speak to you. Each time I face you, I lose my wit, I lose everything. My mind turns in an empty field. All I can think of is to ask you these questions that bother me, or to tell you the truth that’s begging to escape.
Practically, I ought to take this as an indication that I am not suited to your nature; that I should cease pursuing you immediately. But I cling on ever more insistently. I recently read the Great Gatsby, and a line from it revealed to me why I am finding it so difficult to separate myself from you allure.
“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart”
I suppose this is why you keep intruding my thoughts during these empty, lonesome nights.