Human existence is one of those entities I find so mysterious and utterly intriguing. Everyone is so different yet at the same time so alike. I just don’t understand anything about the world around me most of the time and as I get older care less to know. It seems the more I try to figure out whats going on the more lost and frustrated I become. Instead I try and go along for the ride and see how life unfolds around me acting and reacting accordingly.
That is exactly what I decided to do that faithful Thursday evening back in October and where we last left off a little over a week ago. Camus wrote a very intriguing short story entitled The Stranger about a wrongfully accused and convicted man the night before his scheduled execution. The whole premise of the story is him coming to terms with excepting the fact that he is powerless in his situation to alter his fate and that he is going to die. Once this is realized he becomes rather at ease.
As I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, razor in hand, suit laid out on my bed that was just what went through my head. I was prepared to except my fate no matter what the outcome may have been. If I was to show up and meet Heather then I really had no control over what was going to happen. In the end it was to be her call. I needed it to be. I didn’t want to sell her on me, plea a case of why we should be together or persuade her to change her mind. I wanted her to either want to be with me because she loved me and wanted to build a life with me or let it burn and we would move on with our lives separately.
No matter the outcome I was resolved to be strong for if she truly was happier without me then I would be happy for her. It would be a bummer for me. Such is life. I had done everything I possibly could have. The matter was finally out of my hands. As I showed up at her door with me was my final poem to her, maybe the best one I have ever composed. I coupled it with an orchid, the highest most sophisticated flower a man should ever give a woman and not one to be gifted nonchalantly.
This poem I planned to read to her personally from my heart with my voice. That was just what I did. She cried, we hugged and then we went to dinner. I took her to this mellow little spot on Carrillo St., Roy’s. The food is pretty average but the atmosphere is very inviting and rather intimate making it a perfect date spot. Price wise it wont break your bank (by Santa Barbara standards) and they have a rather decent wine list. It seemed like the perfect place for what was to take place.
I must admit I was really nervous, more so then I had ever been. It took all my self control to keep from shaking at times. Our conversation and interaction was palatable to give me some hope, although my instincts told me the out come would be not all I was hoping for. I presented my thoughts and feelings. When I concluded she handed me a letter. I took it and put it in the breast pocket of my jacket to read at a later time.
She said she still needed more time, maybe till January or longer to sort things out. This was the answer I was expecting. At first I lost my composure. I kind of feel like anyone with a heart would have. I got a little defensive and a bit on the angry side. The whole idea seemed prosperous to me. We had only been together seven months and nothing catastrophic had passed between us that would warrant such a break.
The explanation was she needed to time to regroup and take her life back. I told her we should make the most out of the night if it was to potentially be our last night together. ”Let’s pass this night together as lovers and then walk away in the morning as distant acquaintances”. We enjoyed our meal. There was some heavy emotion on both sides as can be expected of such. Afterward I took her down to the beach. I had gotten a bottle of champagne, one of my favorites and decided to blow my sax for her a bit. Heather had never heard me play before.
My music is a very personal thing for me and ever since I got out of doing it for a living I tend to keep my performances few and far between. When I do play, especially these days it’s in rather obscure instances, such as out on the beach at 12 am. The air had a cold nip in it that night. I wrapped her in blankets and played a few of my favorite standards and one of my own. I do believe it had quite an effect over her.
The rest of the night and early morning passed slowly although not slow enough. As I laid there in bed and she was sleeping on my chest I wished I had the power to stop time. That I could stay in that moment forever. It is not in the power of man to do such things nor would it be poignant to. Time most move on. Right before I closed my eyes I accepted this and knew that no matter what happened from there that I would always have that moment in my heart forever. If I could remember the shrouded felicity that passed between us, then I could always look back on the time spent with her in a positive manner.
The next morning I watched her walk out of my life, possibly forever. The plan was to meet at a certain location at a certain time on New Years Day if either of us felt so inclined. Until then there was to be no contact. If we were going to take a break it had to be a real break this time. I stood in the doorway of my apartment and listened till I could no longer hear her footsteps on the pavement. A sense of melancholy set in. Sure, there was always New Years, but the reality was it was not a reality at all, but a fantasy to help deal with the pain.