I saw him through a nook in a door frame. I could not miss the hair. It could be no other. The hair, well, it almost sizzles, it is that much on fire. I refer to both texture and colour. Hairdressers beware. There is work to be done.
We had been intimate once and, before that, we had been friends. It had ended in the short, sharp, blunt abruption of an sms. An unanswered sms that was sent out to sea in a bottle, never returned and ended up in the abyss of an electronic black hole.
Once he had looked so fiercely at me with his striking sky-blue eyes. Once we had debated religion, medicine and musical passions. Now we would only exchange invisible glances and a sea of silent words.
Why. Why do lovers go from the closest bond known to man where skin touches skin and sweat seeps into sweat, to the distance of absolute strangers separated by a space where our tragic past floats above us, slicing the peace of the room in two. Worst still, why does it happen in the wink of an eye, where I barely get time to hold my breath. All that is left is the jenga, perfectly preserved in its glory box since the 1980s, a loan which I offered to return but where the library officer failed to return my calls.
With him sat a striking blonde. A jealous demon within me grinded its teeth while my contemplative side of meditative zen thought that perhaps our encounter had inspired him to care for another and treat her right. I reassured myself that my rejection may be a part of a greater good. After all, this is the man who told me he never gives compliments, he does not know how. Perhaps with this girl he can tell her exactly how wonderful she truly is, a wonder I could see even from across the echoing room – that her hair is like threads of gold, that when she smiles, laughs, and gestures wildly I can sense her kindness, and that she holds a cigarette with the same elegance as Audrey Hepburn.
As I shared my thoughts with my supportive table of comrades, a wise companion of mine brought me back down to earth. Oh so matter of factly he stated – at the end of the day it is always best not to have a lover whose shirt sleeves are shorter than your own. I nodded. An important insight. One to add to the mandroughtvictim book of tips.
Departing, I would have loved to approach him and smile and say hello. Be pleasant, make small talk, let things go. As a victim of the Melbourne man drought, there would have been nothing better than to tell you all that I was the more dignified of the two. Yet, I too could not allow my glance to be visible or my words to be spoken. I left with the past still floating, an awkward memory forever freezing us in an adult game of hide and seek.