It’s never too late to start
Never looking back again.1. adam’s rib
When I walk through the streets of our city I see you in everything.
I see you in the letters on the side of the buildings, at the top of the towers that look down on our strip, in the way the light refracts off glass ceilings in the early hours. In the terraces on my way to work. When the summer morning freezes and everything’s silent the rays of golden sunlight cascade in infinite fragmenting lines down the whole district. When the air is sweet and calm and a chill cools your body after the heat of the night. I walk alone in those empty mornings knowing you walk beside me.
I see you when I get to the top of the hill and the buildings look like mountains of stone. Everything is so far apart I forget where I am. Like an ancient temple city C.S Lewis drew in pictures with words. Everything all black and white and the sky wet and grey. The strong wind blows from side to side reminding everything in it’s path it’s time to go away.
I see you when I look at the facade of the gallery from a higher perch, the glass looks like an Egyptian sarcophagus in the way it waves to the contours of Tutankhamen’s body. When I walk through the pews and the beams that line the interior, the warmth of the amber, it reminds me of you.
I think of you in everything.
Sometimes when I don’t want anyone to see me I walk through the chambers of black marble and that’s when you appear.
The first time I wrote you this letter, back when they told me you were leaving and never returning.. you turned it around and gave it right back. Said I’d need it to read out loud each and every morning. Said “there’s nowhere left in the world now for me to be going but right here and right now with you.”
When I walk through the city I see us in others. You could have been him, or I’d been her just as easily. Who do they see when they look to the same places? Are we totally faceless? Do they see each other the way we see ourselves? Is the world only a mirror?
When I walk through our garden and sit by the fountain, when autumn comes and heat pours from our neighbour’s front windows, when the basement apartment offices of university professors are buried in ice and snow, I think only of you.
If I am a product of my environment I guess I am a product of you. Adam’s rib. A song from Eve. Baby I promised I’d sing about you.
Sometimes letters postmarked seven times from across the ocean arrive two weeks later than anticipated and I sit alone for hours reading and re-reading the words, hoping to interpret some extra thought from the margins or between the lines. Usually they are from my fiancee who will die a week after sending me birthday wishes in November. I will grieve for 9 months before a new man appears and we marry after knowing one another for 3 days. We build a house not far from our family. Slowly a small village grows from our isolated setting. The world spins with the moon. All is proper.
Our life is pretty much that anyway, only we are further apart and silent after seeing one another. We go months without acknowledgement. Still breaths. There is only so much to say these days, forget about intellectual ideas or abstract discussions. It is only kindness that matters.