Tuesday, December 27, 2022

4149 : A story

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

"You make me look better. Your camera, your poetry - all of this paints me red, versus I might be all grey. You have a way with words, a skill at reconstituing the moment to make it look brighter."

She paused, her eyes still staring at her teacup. She definitely had more to say, and I waited.

"All our lives, we fantasize about being the gaze of someone like you. A raconteur who can make you feel so much better about yourself than what you might actually be. "

A long pregnant pause, as she gulped down another sip of her tea. She looked up and caught my eyes. With the awkward smile - one that combines intimacy, anxiety and the feeling of being rudderless - all at that same time. I could almost detect that she was about to tear up.

After a few seconds, "To me though, today, you cause immense insecurity and anxiety. I latch onto your words, sometimes finding you ridiculing my age, my lack of erudition.".
"Your fucking books" , she muttered under her breath.

"You cause deep distress to me.", and she stopped with a finality.

I waited for a few seconds before asking in my most gentle tone, "Can I ask why?"

"I never know whether you ever see me for what I am, or are always painting me for what you want me to be. How easy would it be for you one day to construct a narrative that I fucked it up, that I stole your dream....like a night catcher?" (I remember she said night catcher not dream catcher.)

She continued, "I could be the peg on which this entire edifice rested and you would make me responsible for its fall."

Pause. "....and more so, I am aware that I might be no more than a story for you. Just a pretty fiction that you built up in your head, to weave and blend into your fabric."

Years later, I don't remember much of that day, beyond that comment.

Times have gone by. Spin, you are still my best muse. My favorite poem, my finest portrait. I never wrote the sad love songs about you. You have always remained in my cheerful stories. You are my Dream Story.

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