Tuesday, December 16, 2008

With Hearts Still To Settle

'You know you are a whirlwind and I got swept up in your path. And still, though months passed you never completely set me down. I'd get close to feet on the ground then meet with you once again and have my interest stirred up and rendered unable to be shaken from your grip. And tonight's no exception, no closure on what started long ago. You and I have hearts to settle but until next time take care. All the best, you're most incredible.'

That's what he said to her. What he wished he could have said face to face, or conveyed with a kiss or an embrace. But over-contemplation placed him in the grip of fear in the moment and all his plans ceased at their evening's closure.

He walked in solitude, the incline up Swanston Street; the city fairly empty for a Sunday evening. Turning right up Little Lonsdale he felt his leather jacket pocket for his car keys. His sigh was as heavy as the weight she left on his heart at their every departure. For Feelings all too familiar he had not the comfort of a final cigarette as they'd shared the remains of a deck of Mild Sevens at the Carlton Club. And the last one of the packet they'd taxed each other of drags. Her lipstick on the filter tip, their fingers touching every couple of puffs.

Driving home and feeling more left alone than before, he played over and over the night's details. Spicy food for dinner. Her glasses of white, his matching quantities of red. The things they said, as every time like by rote, their tip-toeing around the moment they never closed months ago. She showed him her writing. Finally. It was what he questioned her of at every greeting and conversation the past year. Ever since the invitation to begin an exploration of creativity together.

Her words were magic and her offering of them modest. He encouraged her, genuinely impressed by what he read. There's a truth to the tune of your poetry and songs, he thought out loud. Despite all trying to concentrate on the pages, his eyes were for her lips, the same as they'd been since their first kiss. Of his inability to cease staring he was aware was obvious to her, but didn't care. He'd told her time and before and again of his wishful intentions and she knew, even if she pretended otherwise.

The instigation of their meeting was to consolidate their feelings and thoughts and happenings of their lives since she moved away. Now, she was moving further away again and him too before she would return. Obligation's grip gave each the mindset to not let time be their moat for history. A catch up was insisted upon. Post-dinner drinking was called for and for her choice of dinner; his was for where to drink. Overwhelmed with indecision he slipped into an attitude of being comfortable and determined an old hotel turned club.

She began with a cocktail, adventurous, daring, promising. He more aware that he'd be driving; decided a Gin and Tonic appropriate. The alcohol carrying their inhibitions from their brains, they continued the pattern of their warm and natural, chemical reaction conversation. But at every sentence, his thought ended with determination that he would kiss her before the night's end. For all she told him of though being single, not ready to yet again be with someone; he felt less aware of her dilemma, considering the waiting to which he'd already been subjected. But fairness did get the best of him at every chance he had he couldn't bring himself to move that two inches closer to her lips for fear she wouldn't initiate any response other than to scoff or laugh it off.

Walking the steps down and out of the Club at eleven thirty and back towards the tram lines he imagined and decided he would leave her with a full lipped kiss despite it all. A once and never again dare to sear himself further to her memory. They arrived at their fork in the street, their T-intersection and as he knew she would, he leaned at a speed to meet her. Arms outstretched in embrace and wrapped around each other. This time however, her mouth more obviously found his cheek. Unlike all their previous greetings and regards where she'd leaned straight and he'd mistakenly gone left, this time she didn't.

Unprepared and surprised, all he could do was find her neck with his lips and hold them there for a split second. And on the drawing back; peck her on the cheek in true defeat, his desire and intention impossibly indiscreet. Thinking to himself in the last look into her eyes: this may be the last time I see you where there's any freedom to be honest. He promised himself he wouldn't let her forget this year they'd not spent together. But per the pattern of his life in every instance up and until, including tonight he just put off confronting her. Resigning to confide in the sanction of writing, where he could prose everything to dose her heart with his love, he sat in the car and as it warmed up he wrote.

In her response she claimed herself not whirlwind but whirlpool instead. And as he read the slurred words, drunkenly fumbled into a text message he was perplexed at her perhaps misunderstanding his written-between-the-lines hurt. But what did make sense, whether she meant it or not, was that she was more whirlpool than whirlwind. And he Love's fool for he'd been sucked in and drowned so far that there was no obvious way out.

He turned on the headlights and drove home from the city and stepping through the front door got a new packet of cigarettes from his draw, made a cup of tea and lighting another Mild Seven up, started writing everything he thought.

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