There’s that place that exists between the real and the almost real. Like limbo but not exactly. Like coma but something else.
You’ve had those moments when you share a slice of time with a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger doing nothing memorable, just being there with him or her who must be feeling the same way as you do – weird, but satisfyingly good.
Here’s a story.
It was a long ride all the way from a northern beach town back to the metropolis and the night, although a little too humid, was charmingly peaceful. Everyone was dead tired but not necessarily quiet. It was six hours between the better life in the countryside and the frenzy in the unrelentingly noisy city. My plan was to have the whole time all to sleep. And I did. Only, not entirely.
My head hits something…hard. Bones? Never mind, didn’t hurt anyway. [goes back to sleep]
Heck! Here goes the sleep head-banger, looking f**king stupid, sleepily bobbing my head like a lousy rock star on a high. And it’s hurting my neck big time! [goes back to sleep]
There, there, better now. Not so bumpy and my heavy head finding a place to rest. Whose shoulder is this? Anyway…[goes back to sleep]
[A bit awake and squinting] Asphalt. Lamp posts. Ah, the national highway. Although the entire ride probably looked the same but pretty sure we didn’t hit the express way too soon.
Now this is seriously hurting my neck. But good enough and far better than get my head banging like an annoying doggie car accessory.
Wait, what??? Am I leaning on someone’s shoulder?
Oh. Yeah. This is weird. Ummm, that okay kind of weird.
You’ve had those moments too when it feels like the universe has gone lost in its own mechanics, protested against its own plans. You will notice that something is out of order because every second is supposed to have been planned, timed, and is supposed to be familiar to your senses. But like a watch suddenly malfunctioning, mistakenly switching gears and mixing up time, there are those moments when the universe seems to lose grip and get things out of their proper places and timing. I think that’s exactly when spontaneity happens. Like when love comes in the form of a shooting star. Enchanting, surreal, amazingly beautiful…and always just passing.
[In silence, of course] Hey! Thanks for the shoulder. Good enough for a not-necessarily-soft pillow for the rest of the ride. I mean, I really appreciate it.
I’m quite sure you can feel my head moving up and down to the beat of your breathing. Or perhaps the strands of my hair pressing against your neck. The way we are now, our heads a little too close, I can almost feel my thoughts slipping through the pores of my scalp, being pulled by your neurons. But I just have to be greedy, I can’t share my thoughts with you. Because right now, they are the most precious secrets I hold. And if you’ll get to them, that’s as good as seeing me naked.
Brake. We had to stop for a toilet break. I woke up to the excitement of having to be able to run to the toilet. Sure you know how that feels. But I had to ask first, “Where are we?”; and you said, “Some place in your heart.”; and I asked again, “Yeah?”; and you said, “Imagine that. The whole van fits in your heart.” I couldn’t find a good answer to that so I smiled, rather more like a smirk, and went back to sleep. Well, I was hoping you knew I didn’t. Oh, and I forgot to pee?
The clothes I’m wearing now is this seemingly deep sleep and I’m being very careful not to wake up. Because this sleep is the only thing that’s keeping you from seeing me in my naked form and from getting to my little secret with a lifespan of just this night.
If I wake up, that’s like giving away my little secret to the only person who’s not supposed to know.
Hey! Tonight, I love you. But when this ride ends, this story will also be over – most likely. I’ll be wide awake, reality will pull me out from this “spontanium”, and everything will go back to normal. Like I’ve never loved you and as if you’ve never loved me back.
Thank you anyway for that little infinity. Somehow I wished it was real, but the most it can be was to be almost real. It may never be in the intentions of fate to make it last. But isn’t it beautiful enough that our little infinity ended in a way that no one had to hold back a tear?
I loved you that night,