He loved this city for the lack of commitment it demanded. A weird, bustling little place where anything and everything and nothing could happen at the same time. The drinks were cheap, the pinkish polluted sky was unapologetic and his cravings for artsy stuff always led him to something of a raw questionable beauty. Which was perfect in its simplicity. He had these lenses that allowed him to see right through someone’s soul and capture the wild things in it. Kinda fancied being labeled as a strange unearthly guy who could shine bright lights into dark places and naturally bring out pure energy in the form of an image.
Pretty girl says hello
Then she came along. Intrigued by god knows what random thing he said, she made her entrance with a dumb cute smile and a velvet pink top that from behind read something like “trouble with an underage girl”. Not the case, of course. But she was all flawed and soft inside and had this sweet way of dealing with stuff, which was as annoying as it was attractive. He could have sent her home after the first glass of rose but he found her peculiarly entertaining, just like some of his favourite cartoons. Man, he liked cartoons!
So he took her to this tiny bar where you could only pay with something of value to you. Not money, but precious things from one’s past, present or future. Coins worth almost nothing were pulled out of his memories. She rubbed a shoulder and left enough on the counter to pay together for a beer. Somehow they both agreed it was a damn tasty beer, at least for that hilarious price. She loved the fact that they were surrounded by shelves with books, but she wouldn’t touch one without permission. Looking at that childish smile of hers he suggested they had a silly contest. Each would have to pick a random book, read a few lines and impress the other by pure chance. The one to succeed would have anonymous glory forever. She said yes instantly. Man, she loved books!
A honeymoon sample
Soon enough you could see them together on a beach, with the ocean’s surface mirroring their tanned bodies. It was an ocean of tears of joy and sorrow that were at some point turned into a fruity punch by an eccentric god. This attracted countless tourists who came from everywhere to taste the water with tiny straws. She said “yuck” and the next moment she got a splash right in the face. It was his second favourite place and he would have drowned her in it just to make her realize how great it was. So they got drunk, really drunk.
It is believed that mixing holy punch with summer kisses can be dangerous. Not for them. Before the sun got to touch the purple skyline they had already everything figured out: constellations, past trips, fate and even babies. Concerts, international politics and where to spend one more night.
At some point he leaned to her ear and said “this hand is not gonna hold itself“. It was for the first time when she felt so self-aware that she could notice her own silliness. Of course it’s not going to! So she took his hand like something that had been missing since ever and was just found.
First they saw the black feathered seagulls entering the city, their beloved city, and covering the sky like silent war planes. Some shy footsteps quietly announced that the first party was over. Then the next one and the next one and the next one, until “reserved” and “closed” didn’t mean anything anymore. Colliding stars from another galaxy with typical behavior of fighting couples drained all the summer from the city just before August was over. They were still together when the sun stopped showing up on a schedule but didn’t panic; the city still had a heart pumping life into the gray old buildings.
Then the cold slowly came in. And with it, the strangers who would enter any room uninvited. They would sit on your bed, whisper mean things and then leave. Soon, all the rooms in the city were soaking in soft poison. In times like these people get out of their minds and the two of them were no exception.
– You look nice, like a pretty party girl.
– I could jump out of a cake, couldn’t I?
– Yes. Could you entertain my friends too?
– Like how?
– Sit on their laps, make them happy.
– No, never.
If an elephant and his zoo friends sat on her chest, she would have still felt lighter. Meanwhile the room got crowded with chatty intrusive people she didn’t know. But he did, so they became honoured guests with chairs and coasters and everything.
She would have liked to tell them to go away, but the room wasn’t hers. Actually, nothing in there was.
In the morning she opened her eyes wide, staring at the white ceiling. Then she got on her feet and looked down.
The hand wasn’t holding itself, indeed.