Monday, September 02, 2013

Leaving Time

And so here it is.

I’m sitting in a café in Seoul looking over the street to Itaewon. The traffic is moving below at a frightening pace. I watch it slipping over the road and under the bridge. It is like time. There it is, moving in a flow, moving with its own purpose in mind.

Here is my time. I go forward. I go back.

An hour on the floor weeping bitterly.

A beautiful woman on the phone, coaxing me up, getting me to drink, calm down.

Time keeps passing.

A dinner party. People I know, people I don’t. Someone to serve all my needs. Together we break each other’s hearts and try to build them back up.

Backward and forward goes my time.

Someone else on the floor crying while I kneel over them. Later, they smile. I smile. I leave and don’t sleep.

One day ending, another beginning.

I knock on the door. He whispers come in. Together we move my bags out of the room that was my room, that is now no room. I find shoes I had forgotten. My bag breaks. We smile and laugh about it.

It’s time to go.

In a restaurant with a chef who has taken great care of me for five years. He gives me free eggplant and asks why I am crying. I can’t talk. I need to eat. I haven’t eaten in days.

I smile and eat the eggplant.

I look at the clock on the wall and count down the minutes.

There are people everywhere. A train wreck. I want solitude for the afternoon to deal with my head. Instead I am the host of the party. I wear a tiny dress. People are surprised by me. In spite of myself I enjoy what I see. Color and beauty and laughterenough to fill me and make me real for a few hours.

Time to go and walk a small dog.

A hug that lasts forever. A meal and angel wings. We laugh. I cry a little. We make promises we both intend to keep. We broke promises we never meant to break. We talk about our broken hearts and we mend them. We know time will mend them too.

We just need more time.

And now there is no more time.

A bathroom all to myself. I fill a tub with water and it glows at me. I cry until the water turns cold.

My emotions have been slipping all over.

There is a knock at the door. I pour glasses of wine for us, noting the frazzled edges in both our faces. We lie in bed and hold each other for an hour, not speakingan exchange of peace and light and warmth and feelings.

I wake up alone.

The sun keeps moving along and carrying me with it.

So many things to do. Pack, buy tickets, go to offices, cancel things; it goes on and on and I keep trying to get it all done. All the while my dog is a wreck and he cannot be calmed. I try to calm him, but instead must take him everywhere with me. I understand his panic. I cannot stop panicking.

More time, late for a bus. It’s only supposed to be an hour, instead it is three. I end up in the wilderness. A beautiful place, quiet, lonely, isolated. I dazzle everyone with what I do. I’m alone in the crowd, the thronging fans that I create with what I do. They love me. I drink in my room to pass the time and try desperately to sleep.

Pass the time.

I ask if she is in my class and when she says no I offer her a glass of wine if she will light my cigarette. It is the first time I have talked to someone without my mask on. She asks me why I have stayed…my mind swirls, so many faces, beautiful faces, conversations, happiness, sadness, pain, love, loss, fear, desire, loathing, light, my life here passes in front of my eyes. I smile and smoke my cigarette and sip my wine. Then I thank her for the light. My mind races all night.

Mornings have come and gone and here I am, in a café in Seoul on my last morning. Here was my last month in Korea. Here were my last days.

They were the best days.

They were the worst days.

They were the only days.

And then, now, forever, tomorrow. I fly.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My turn to almost miss a bus reading something you wrote. Have a safe flight and call me when we're in the same hemisphere again.