I can’t offer you the sunset
“Memories are what warm you up from the inside. But they’re also what tear you apart.” (Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami)
The house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. White candles here and there, white silk pillows on the couch in perfect match with silver and gold garlands. The Christmas tree was small. It was just enough to illuminate and add warmth to the room. The table was set for eight. With some more candles and sequined confetti. The hostess was busy, welcoming the guests and going in and out the kitchen, nervously. She seemed to worry a bit about the cooking time for the turkey. She served us champagne. The guests knew her well. The more she got stressed, the more she talked and agitated her arms and hands. I looked at you. It was the first time you were with my friends. You had worn your nicest shirt to be with me that night. You looked at me and smiled. I had told you stories about our hostess. You smiled and made me understand that you confirmed the veracity of my stories. The hostess was a nice friend of mine but she always acted a bit like a mother who cared too much more than a girlfriend. I looked at you once again. I observed how you could be with my friends. You seemed at ease. You talked a bit to other people but you stayed close to me. My friends observed you. It was the first time I brought a date to a party. Especially at a Christmas party.
The dinner was delicious. The roasted turkey was just perfectly cooked. The gravy was made with prune juice and honey. The hostess was proud. You told me that you had never tried such dish. It was not in your culture to eat turkey at Christmas. You told me you would tell your mother about the meal because you would not forget it for a long time. I looked at you during the whole dinner. I saw you listen to other people. I saw you smile. I saw you laugh. You were not shy but you were not talkative either. You were being yourself. You had your way to look at people when you talked to them. Your whole personality was carried in your eyes, these green grey eyes of yours. I had never met someone who had such sincere and intense look. When you talked to people, you seemed to really care. I looked at you and enjoyed the spectacle. The unique spectacle. You were on the show. Just for me when I looked at you. You did not notice. You did not know. You were too humble to think that that evening you were my one man show. I ate very few. I felt filled with emotions of all kinds because you were there. I could not eat and observed at the same time. I felt like focusing on you was the only way I could feed myself that evening. From time to time, you touched my hands under the table. After each touch, I felt full. Full of sentiments. The beginning of my love for you. Probably during that dinner I fell in love with you. Or maybe a week after that. Or maybe a week before that. Somewhere at my place. Somewhere in the mountains. Somewhere. Necessarily somewhere it had happened. I was confused. I did not remember when. I remember I fell in love with you so deeply I could not even remember when. Because the feeling of love was so powerful that it erased all of my memories and invaded my brain to leave room just for the feeling of love itself. But that Christmas dinner might be a reference date. Let’s say it was at the Christmas dinner.
In one week I will have the same dinner again. My friend, the talkative, easily stressed, mother-like hostess will prepare the same turkey with that exquisite prune gravy you had really adored. She invited you. She already told me about the Christmas decoration for this year. You will not be there.
In one week at that dinner memories will come back. Next to me will be sitting someone else. I will observe everything carefully as if you were still there. Just to tell you everything after that. I will tell you about the color of the garlands this year. I will try this turkey and tell you how it tastes. You will know every detail of the evening. The feeling of love this year will certainly be less powerful. As it was long time ago replaced by the love. The so certain love that I don’t need to remember. The feeling of love which had been born during a Christmas dinner and the love which continues beyond a thousand of Christmas meals.
Don’t you remember the famous quote of Lamartine “Un seul être vous manque et tout semble dépeuplé » (Only one person is missing and all seems depopulated). My Christmas dinner this year will have the taste of a depopulated evening.
The last few days I was busy but in a positive way. It is always like this near Christmas time. Getting together with some friends whom I had not seen a lot lately. Last Saturday I went out for brunch at noon and only headed home around midnight as during the whole afternoon, I ran into some friends downtown. We ended up Christmas shopping, enjoying mulled wine, listening to kids singing Christmas carols, and also trying some make-ups. Totally unplanned journey but it was more than nice.
These last few days, I communicated a lot with MD, my sweetest friend aka my guardian angel. We tried to find a date to celebrate his birthday which is on the 24th of December. Also I received regularly mails from the man I loved. It is pure happiness in an easy way. His mails arrive telling me his daily life with smiles and jokes, with songs and movies he shares.
Also yesterday a very dear friend of mine from my hometown came in the city for work and we had lunch together. It felt so good to speak to him in French, my mother-tongue language. Gosh, I have missed it. Then another sweet friend asked me if she could come visit me the next weekend. Of course I said yes. In the evening I went to the opera in which a friend of mine sang. Again I ended up having a drink with my friend and some people in the choir and learning a bunch of things about opera singers.
I arrived home very late at night. I actually walked home and enjoyed the streets with no traffic. I realize that these last days I took life as it came. Spontaneously. I was pretty much contemplating life too. Things are easy when we let them come and flow. I realize that I had known a person whom I consider as a friend but who never gives me any access to his life in order to reach a certain level of trust and friendship. When everything goes easily with other people, I just realize that this person finally had resisted me all the way long and whatever I had tried to do to reach out for him and to give substance to our relationship, it seems like throwing salt in the sea. With him, I was facing a big wall. This is the only person with whom I feel like I am not trusted and I am not liked. When I look at all my other friendships, I realize that I could probably do nothing about this new person/friend.. I cannot force the access. I just have to accept or let it go. But I also realize that there is nothing better than time to know someone. It is not possible to compare a two-month friendship to a 20-year friendship with my best friend or with MD or with the man I love. I know them so well because I had shared and lived so many things with them. Time is precious to friendship.
Anyway I like this period of time around Christmas. I like connecting with old friends again. And taking life easily with lights, Christmas carols, mulled wine and laughs. And letting go people who don’t trust me or don’t want me in their lives. Holding no grudge. Wishing them well anyway.
In the USA, there is Thanksgiving tonight. A tradition with no great importance over here in Europe. But I can feel the emotions and the family touch this evening. On Facebook, my friends put on their status: “Happy Thanksgiving to all.” It sounds familiar to me. I feel close to them.
In my city, downtown this evening was over-crowded. There was a parade celebrating the Christmas lightening. Shops were opened till late, shop owners offered warm mulled wine mixed with cinnamon and ginger. The lights were on, everywhere and the magic was there. I don’t specially like Christmas time but I had to admit, Christmas lights just like fireworks, it is impossible not to like and not to find them beautiful. For a second, I just happened to be a kid again, all excited with the colors of the lights and the smell of cinnamon coming from the wreathes made of dried flowers and fruits.
In other places it is still warm with sunshine all year long. Where you are precisely it is now summer with sandy beaches. Christmas will be in a different atmosphere where you are probably. I saw the video you had sent to me earlier on your Jiu Jitsu club. It was not long and I recognized you in the video. Just for one or two seconds. Not more than that. I imagined easily the place where you are right now. I envy the warmth, the sunshine which can reach your skin. I envy your sparring partners, I envy your teachers, those who can hear you laugh everyday. But I don’t lose hope, I guess soon it is gonna be my turn too. To hear you laugh. Even if it would probably not be in a place with summer time and sun. It would still be paradise.
Tonight it feels like Christmas is approaching.
From here, from there. From here I am. From there where you are.
Tonight I miss you. In peace.