Saturday, January 24, 2009

today, in the afternoon, i saw someone walking. just like you. with those same free-swinging arms and small, tightly clenched fists.

i resumed reading but my head whirled around to see if it was indeed you. all along knowing there was not a chance on earth, or mars, that it could be.

and it was, of course, not you.

it's not the first time something like this has happened. a couple of weeks ago i thought i heard your voice and it turned out to be someone else. apparently, i've assimilated you more than i realize.

i seem to know the exact length of your stride, the point to which your hair tapers down your back, the slight narrowing of eyes when you walk, the way you wear your clothes, the rhythm of your footfall, the sound of your breathing, even the weight of your shadow. i don't know if you remember me in this way too. maybe. maybe not. does it matter? maybe. maybe not. i don't know. perhaps, i don't want to know.

thinking about the way you walk, the memories come tumbling down. like leaves shaken free by a gentle breeze. vivaldi's hopping violins in 'autumn' start to play inside my head. the air seems lighter, clearer, crisper. a sigh slips out from in between my lips. my heartbeat steps up a few notches. i feel as if i'm standing on the edge of the world, inside a small chalk-drawn circle; blue, blue sky all around me, not a cloud in sight. that is what you feel like: the edge of the world on a glorious sunny day. with no vertigo to throw me into a free fall.

it's strange how memory works its magic even when we aren't looking, how we end up in the strangest of places without trying, how two people can condense the world between them; it's stranger how clinical memory can be when it cleans up, how we've chosen to live amidst the mundane despite knowing the beautiful, how two people can drift apart, like ghosts, into separate universes.

i look down at my phone wondering if i should call you. and tell you what? that i saw someone who walks just like you? and what would you say in return? what would we talk about after that? breakfast? will we still argue about who should cut the call? i shrug and put the phone back in my pocket.

but then something's not letting me sleep tonight. yes, hindsight is where we all want to be sooner than later and wisdom sometimes can't wait till tomorrow. but right now there are memories pleading to be pickled. so here i am, writing this.

to let you know that i saw someone walking today.

just like you.