The deafening whistle in my ear—which most recently has become a pleasant addition to my chronic migraines—screeched in my eardrum like some ignorant feminist bypassing gender double standards and yelling for better rights for her sex. Same old swill, different day. This is what happens when you betray your universal rule, your code, your desperate appeal to higher abstracts. In the most ideal form of justice, this was true balance: pain, melancholy, and darkness, which expectantly is what truth is like.
I wanted to believe in things, in more than the tragic underpinnings of inevitable sorrow proceeding a moment’s hesitation. Since I had no choice but to acquiesce to the melancholic tones my life has taken like a greyscale movie, I was forced to wish I could believe in abstracts, in faith for the truth, in the symbolic overtures of risings suns, and it was these beliefs in false abstracts that became the apex of my destruction. Alas, like all beliefs, I had to learn the hard way how wrong I was.
Plato, Hume, Kant, Phyrro, Mill, Spinoza, Aristotle: all useless unless you lock yourself away in a room for many moonless nights and study what you've deadlocked up in your pretentious mind: the things you really feel, not the sanctimonious platitudes you're told to feel, and when you've studied, when you've shed a little light on the dark recesses of your soul, that is the time to consider the abstract beliefs that philosophers try, and ever so subtly fail to describe.
I always wondered why some buses have those peculiar seating arrangements where you're forced to face the guy sitting across you. Not that I mind when it’s some gorgeous dame sitting across me, but the engineering of the buses seem rather banal.
Beyond a doubt, this was a first for me, looking at some majestic babe with sunlit hair and pearly skin, and being unable to pinpoint her eye color, and it wasn't due to lack of trying. I couldn't really see her…what I assume were seraphic orbs staring into the wretched smartphone that’s disconnected us from each other, its crimson silicone case matching her smiling lips. And it was in fact her ever-subtle smile that beguiled me, and not her appearance that fiddled with the border between perfection and angelic. I couldn't look away, it was like looking into those optical illusions that suck you in and never let you go; she was having an effect on me I’d trained myself never to have: to yearn for a human connection, all with a simple Garden of Eden smile. It took every ounce of willpower I had to glance towards the ‘next stop’ bulletin, and rather than the feeling of dread that should've washed over me when I realized I’d missed my stop, a newfound feeling of relief warmed my body towards the sky, a symbol that perhaps my inquisitive nature had once again taken over like it did when I was little, and withheld assent to all things until I was sure it bore a resemblance to truth, until I was sure beyond any doubt that such truths, such beliefs were abstracted from time and space. Mozart’s Fantasie In D Minor grew dimmer in my ear the second she looked up and caught my gaze with what I knew was a stupid looking smirk on my part; my pretentious white earbuds creating a distance between us much larger than the feet or two.
Her eyes were uranic, and looking straight into them, I still couldn't pinpoint what color they were: a combination of oceanic blue, forest green, royal purple, and sunset orange. I’d been here before, years ago, during the short time when I used to believe in things, and my reward was nothing but dread…. But again, it was her smile, hopefully directed at me that vibrated my eardrums like someone had screamed the answer to an elusive question in my ear. She was a candle on a windowsill on that moonless night I sat staring at the sky, cigar smoke hazing up the air just as the clock ticked midnight. When a moment like this strikes me, a moment that I know will haunt me to the bitter end of my psyche, the prose that results is inspired by passion, never of purpose: to write so I could later boast that I’ve written about it. Notes rise from a misty foundation in my head and progressively give rise to a Nocturne breathing slower than a heart forlorn at the loss of a beloved. Ironically enough however, the heart endures; it’s the mind that’s never as resilient. There was what she’d want me to be, and then what I was, and Odin’s joke? These two people were nowhere close to each other. Perhaps it was Loki instead; I’d always had this feeling that universe was cheating anyway: churning my heart one way and driving my mind insane another in a comedic battle to see which could endure more pain, and the answer was obvious. Recognition of it is an instant after having been postponed, I can't acquire it like a banker’s fortune: penny after penny, and never all at once or once at all. Hence, each ambition is triumphant with a single lucky stroke, and I see that now. The odds were in favor that I'd find truth by sheer chance.
Mozart’s fingertips landed on the keys of a piano to the tune of her smile. In a perfect world, she blushes, but I can’t be sure, and I want to wave, I want to feel something for this person, to get to know her better, to elucidate a belief I had on only one other occasion. But no matter how hard I thought, how much I knew I was blind despite my 20/10 vision, and how…insane I was despite my high IQ, I couldn't shake the lamenting feeling of inevitability. No matter what happens, even in a perfect world, the one where I smile back, or wave, and she waves back; I stand up to get off the bus and she grabs my hand and slips me the 10 digits which denote the mathematical truth of her being, or I start talking to her and we hit it off…. Despite all that, I couldn't shake the feeling that tragedy was all but a sure thing, even if it progresses at an adagio tempo, hovering over you like a ruthless storm cloud. Even if I saw her, met her, got to know her, loved her, and by some miracle she could stand me, and she loved me, and cared for me; the suspended feeling that eventually, somewhere down the line, tragedy would sit…waiting patiently, to inflict immeasurable pain upon us couldn't be disregarded, and right there, I realized I was really doing a cost-benefit analysis: would it worth the pain that I’d, or she’d suffer in the future, no matter how infinite it would seem, versus the short-term gain that we’d both receive from unconditional affection for the X amount of time we’d be together?
Nice work…reducing something ‘as grand as love,’ as my friend Winkler describes it, to a denotation of disengaging logic and frivolous detachment, which runs contrary to the concept in the first place. But I guess knew, deep down, even if I didn't want to admit it in that split-second moment, with our eyes locked harder than America’s thirst for free oil, that the real question I had to ask myself was: is it worth it to believe again? Or better yet: are you strong enough to believe again?
Poof. The systematic calculations of weighing one versus the other, the pedantic breakdown of this fleeting moment no longer troubled me; pain is real, lesser pains, greater pains, the degree of it is arbitrary, if I have to choose between two inevitable pains…I’d rather not choose at all.
I waved slightly with a big stupid grin on my face. Next stop: a sunrise.