I guess, he paused, I guess it was just the mixture- that sublime combination when the booze and the smoke and the night blend together in such divine alchemy that love flows out from every pore with the beads of summer heat induced sweat. When we discussed the future it all seemed so rosy, so movie perfect. I know I was naive, but if you were there you’d have done it too.
I don’t know.
Yeah, you aren’t me I guess. You’ve felt more love, been more wanted. I never got that- and in that moment I felt loved. Even when I knew it was probably bullshit. Even when I knew deep down it’d never work. I just wanted to sit there, across from a beautiful woman and bask in the glow of love.
But you didn’t think she loved you, right?
Totally. She loved the idea of me, just not the real thing. But in that moment, if only in that unique moment, the ideal and the real were merged. And I, well, I liked the way it felt. It felt beautiful, warm, conspiratorial.
Yeah. As if, in a world of totalitarian sadness, we’d formed a secret resistance, dedicated to our happiness.
Joyful freedom fighters. We’d cracked the code, achieved a sort of liberation. For her, the social pressure to marry was lifted, for me the fear of never being loved dissipated. The way, fuck, the way she looked at me through those long eyelashes, wine glass in her hand, black dress worn just right. Fuck, behind her was a window with the city’s skyline framed perfectly. It was incredible.
But we didn’t really love each other. Or if we did, in our own fucked up way, it was not the foundation on which to build a sort of happy life.
A miserable one maybe.
For sure, but why would we do that?
Chasing the dragon of that moment, maybe? A lack of alternatives could be a reason too.
We had alternatives, and as wonderful as that dragon was, it was too obviously ephemerial to be chased.
Do you regret saying yes? It had to be embarrassing when it all fell apart.
I guess, well, yeah of course, if I look at it objectively- but in that moment, sitting in the heat of that night with those eyes and that smile, I couldn’t have said no. I’m not one for believing in fate, but if I have one, that moment is proof of it.
Yudhisthira at the dice table.