The cafe buzzes with the unanimous murmuring of early morning coffee drinkers. But she can’t, she won’t, hear a thing. Sitting alone in the corner, her gaze dissects those around her, like a surgeon reaching for the innards of an anaesthetised patient; she tries to find the story behind each person, drab and pallid in their morning attire. Even the way they move echoes of past love affairs and pain. But maybe that is just the way she is feeling, at least how she pretends to feel. These people, so insignificant to everyone else, even to themselves, cannot be read like a book. They are constantly changing, moving from one mood to the next. They are never loyal. But no one is ever loyal to any cause, she thinks to herself, enjoying the warm draught from the radiator adjacent to the small of her back. The thought makes her face contort into a mechanical grin, but she is still looking at them all. A man looks up from his papers, arranged scruffily on the rounded table, and smiles back. Eye contact. For just a second, she sees into his soul. Everything he has ever done and will do is laid bare, but then she casts her eyes down shyly, that is not her place to be in.
Why is it that people never reveal their true agendas? The thought is vibrant in her mind as she sits on the bus. Like an expanding balloon it fills her head until there is no room left, it is almost painful. What is my agenda? I am an observer; I watch what other people never see, too caught up in their own pathetic existences. I write words, because words speak truth. I don’t like anything, but I like this in its own right. I am scared of life, but I am more scared of death. I don’t know what love is, but I know it has been with me since birth, how do I unlock it?
Love. What does it even mean, she wonders, as she moves through the field, her legs tingling against the long grass. She falls, but does the ground come to meet her, or is it the other way round? By the nature of things, surely she should feel some sensation of pain, or at least something. But this is her problem, she feels nothing. At this thought a tear makes its way down her cheek, but it is not a tear of emotion, it is an automatic response, a simple way that the body deals with hormones. What happens when the body and mind no longer communicate? When they are two separate beings, but forced to be together, even though they won’t work together (is that love?). You get me. You get me. You get me. The words are spoken; the grass sways in the breeze, as if it is responding to her realization. In her hand she holds a wilted red rose. A flower that once released a beautiful, perfume-like smell, is now rotten, it has been defeated by the same thing that brought about its existence in the first place. Nature is nothing more than a cruel mistress, toying with her courters, until they eventually lose out in her twisted game, and return to the mud. With her hands she digs a little bit into the soft ground, the dirt wedging itself under her fingernails, making her feel sick. She puts the rose into the hole and walks off again. It is for Him. Everything she does is for Him.
Everything is for Her, he thinks, as he gazes at the sullen sun rise, as it would rather have stayed in waiting. This generic feeling of want and desire is too much for him to handle, his body tingles at thoughts of anything and everything. He is in love with all he touches or sees, even anything he can imagine. But a life like this is not fruitful; for there will always be disappointment. He strokes the hair on his arm, feeling the contours his skin has made over his thirty-one years, a testament to his very own existence. His love is out there somewhere, but a lack of touch makes him want. Want is a sin, he thinks, slowly returning indoors, to the comforting yet claustrophobic bedroom. He looks at the indentation his body has left on the bed from sleep. He is suddenly overcome by an animal desire to feel someone. Something will not do, thoughts are not tangible, I need to see the shape of someone else’s body on the bed. It would be easier if I had never reached the light of life. The sun has now risen, filtering in through the balcony door, pinning him to the wall. When will this torment end?
Why can’t I feel, she thinks. The days of physical lust are not feelings; they are just attempting to fill in for what her mind can never do. Sweat, lies, more sweat. That is not what life is meant to be, but she can’t escape, she is a prisoner to her body, if only she could return to the comfort of the mud...
I want a body to hold! He screams.
I want a mind to feel! She screams.
But I am just the messenger, a human being as I was made, a man who has already sinned. I cannot give these gifts, but I can certainly take them away. And so I will keep on writing until I too return to the mud, because words last forever.