[I wrote another - better in my opinion - version but the computer decided to eat that up. I tried hard but sadly couldn't retrieve it. Here's the second attempt, which I know is never as good as the original.]
It’s a fine evening. I’m sitting in the alligator-skin armchair, legs perched on a matching ottoman. The view outside, overlooking the city, is as fine as it was when I first saw it, but it no longer mesmerizes the way it did then. Wearing white cotton socks mismatching black wool pants, slouching just a bit too much, I ask “How did we get here?” The fireplace is on; there’s cold outside.
There’s another fire, the one inside me, that I want to reveal to you but you’re not there. You’re upstairs, talking on the phone as you get ready to go out with your friends. A cigar entertains me and a simple vodka tonic keeps me company. A soft ghazal plays from all around me, but it’s not enough to drown out the sound of hip-hop that trails down from your distant corner.
We’re old and aging, but still you fight everyday for your youth. I fight too, but my fight is silent, internal. You fight to keep what you can see, what others can see. I fight to maintain what I suppose I never had – peace of mind, simplicity, lightness. The struggle comes effortlessly to you, and to some you even appear to be succeeding. Me on the other hand, since no one can see me struggling, I’ve become confined to the one-way journey into the oblivion of old age, without a second chance or a hand reaching out to grant me one last dance with youth.
In my stint to understand humanity and what it means to be human, I marginalize your personality (that’s uniquely yours) to the point that I stopped relating to you a long time ago. To my sweeping eye you’re the same as the rest of them, after the same thing, functioning in the same mode. It’s only me and the select few others I’ve only read about that are different and truly unique.
I managed to evade your desire for children many years ago. I thought myself clever and deft. I think we’re better off for it, but I can’t help wonder sometimes, still. You have many things to keep you occupied, but for a single-track mind like mine that splits off into infinity infinite times, wondering is all I can ever do.
I bore you. You elude me. In the epitome of contradiction I want you to sit with me and leave me alone. I want you to keep me company but when you’re here I want you gone. Leave me with my thoughts, my books, my drink and my music, my torturous solitude that I wish to engage every breathing moment of every day. Go only so far away as to not leave me wondering irritably where you’ve gone. Stand behind me and cater to me, simply turning off your needs and your desires.
I’m much too old and learned and aware to blame myself on you or anyone else, even life. Some people, I’ve concluded, just don’t belong to a certain time or place. For now, I try to belong in this armchair, music and drink for solace, a landscape pasted outside the large window to cover up the decaying reality that churns inside me.