The taxi was old and rickety. I watched it as it made its way slowly down the street. A couple sat in the back. The man looked straight ahead. The woman looked out the side window. I know them. How long has it been since the big day: the wedding? Four years give or take a couple of months. How long ago did the raised voices late at night become a constant source of distraction? Two years give or take a couple of months.
And how long before the wedding were the walks in the evening, hand in hand; the whispering; the giggling? The outings? Maybe a couple of years give or take a couple of months.
I have marked time by the events in their lives.
More importantly, I think I have been here too long. Time to move on.
But to what? To where? It’s not like I have it any better than them. Yeah, there is a case to be made for two people who may be unhappy together over the single person haunting a building he calls his house, but does the headache beat the loneliness?
I know you will ask if I am lonely, why don’t I do something about it? Good question: complex answer.
When Cupid came for me, I was having a bad day. So instead of leaping for joy, I said f**k it all, and went my way. But the arrow was in my heart, so I had no peace. Then work issues cropped up and I went round like the living-dead for a couple of months. By the time I sorted that out and came back to myself and senses, it was too late. Even I could see how bad it looked. I wasn’t that guy, but my actions made me look like some vindictive, callous, unfeeling, selfish fellow who is nasty if he doesn’t have his way or get what he wants. I am not. But R. Kelly got it right when he sang (paraphrased) “Cause when a woman’s mind is made up (no matter how you beg no) There ain’t nothing you can do about it. It’s like running out of luck …”

The taxi has stopped. The man gets out, pays the driver and goes in the house with not even a single glance: the lady could have gone away with the taxi for all he cared. The lady follows shortly afterwards, bag in one hand and shoes in the other.
Lovely lady, I would have been perfectly happy with her if she was free and my heart was otherwise unoccupied. But I guess beauty and character are not always enough to keep the fire burning in a man’s heart, but I have been told that for a lady, the fire burns almost unceasingly: maybe, maybe not.

So if that’s not working out, why don’t I look elsewhere? You would be surprised at the reasons … as it is said in these parts: “… condition …”
But enough about me. I can hear the voices again: anger, despair and disappointment rolled into one.
Same lips that whispered those 3 universal words; that recited vows with glinting eyes in front of a few hundred well wishers and family.

Why won’t you give me a chance? Why do I make you so uncomfortable? All I want is to see you smile at me.

The raised voices are replaced by the noise of the crowd at a soccer game. Their TV.

I will see them in church tomorrow. Nicely dressed. We will share a word or two of greetings when the service is over. We will smile and comment on how the weather is changing. I expect to hear their raised voices later in the day while I think about you.

Time passes. Nothing changes.

Consider This

Consider This

The voice of the angel was as thunder in the sky: “Son of man.”
“Here I am” I said.
“What would you give to roll back time? For the laws of God are set in the firmament for ever and ever. And for every sin, there is a just recompense”
“Which of my many sins” I asked, “for which I have not asked forgiveness?”
“Though thou has sought forgiveness and obtained it, karma must still be done, lest the sons of men take the heavens for granted and make mockery of the laws of God.”
“Will thou give thine right arm to see justice done?”

So whilst I pondered the devil and the deep blue sea, for I would regret parting with the left, but the right is as life itself.
Whilst the fruit of my indecision looked me in the face with a smirk on its lips
There was a shaking in the heavens
And lo and behold, a second angel whose dazzling apparel was a beauty to behold:
“Listen not to him who stands yonder. Look, even now his white is as rags, unfit for the earth. No, not the heavens”
And I looked, and indeed he spoke the truth, for the first angel’s countenance was as dark as his garment. Filthy beyond description
“Indeed the laws of God are eternal. But he forgives and does not bring to remembrance again.”
“Thy sin has been forgiven. But look to the earth, and see to it.
The will of man is strong, his memory infinite. Fear hath gripped his heart.
Have thou forgiven, thou who seek forgiveness?”
“Come, let us consider the matter.
The giving of a heart can never be forced. Moreso, if it be given under duress, know not that the end of such things is as uncertain as the ways of the wind upon the sea?
Thy heart aches, because of what thou hast done and failed to do.
Thou no longer take pleasure in the eating of thy meals, they are as burdens which must be borne.
And thy sleep is but short as a moment of time.
Look not to the heavens.
Look now and see that she of whom thou dreamest is happier without thy person to cast a blight upon her day.
See how she skips lightly like a songbird on her merry way.
Her worries are many like women before and after her.
But take solace, they are less one: thy attention constricted her throat; brought discomfort to her being; and lighlty brushed her heart with despair.
But now all that is in the past, If thou but stay away.
But the ways of the heart are inscrutable
Even now thou hope and scheme
Even these words I speak though thou hear,
would they sway the course thou art set thine heart upon?
Haven’t thy hasty choices these past year caused thee enough grieve?”
“But lest I take hope, nay, thy very soul and crush it with my words, I shall hold my tongue and what will be will be
Go now, son of man. Do what thou wilt.”

In the twinkling of an eye, the skies were darkened till nothing except the two beings in the sky could be seen with the naked eye.

And thus spoke the first angel from whose nose and mouth came smoke and sulphuric stench:
“Wouldst thou waste thy time upon this vain pursuit?
Knowest not thou, that even now,  thy time upon the earth is half spent, and the ax nibbles at the foot of thy tree?”

And from the second Angel:
“Consider not words spoken in anger.
Remember not that anger in thine heart, though thou ground thy teeth and speaketh not, was thy fall from grass to grace?”

And with lightening rending the darkened sky:
“Know not thou that anger purifiest all things. And wheretofore thine heart lackest will and strength, now thou art as a lion fierce?”
“Hear me now, son of man, fault my speech if we do not find common ground.
Is not this the will of womankind?
A man aggressive above his peers, to take the bull by the horn, and bring it to heel?
For look, while thou shilly and shally, she places her hands in anothers.
Who knows whether he be meek or mild?”
“For don’t all men hide their wicked ways behind noble deeds until rings hold tapered fingers tight in vise-like grip?”

And the angel in the dazzling white:
“Son of man, he utters truth and lies in equal parts.
Let not his double-speak confuse thy unsettled mind.
Don’t all men and women have freedom of will to chose whom they desire to spend their time? ”
“Listen not to the voice of treason,
that would have thee treat womankind as lesser beings, incapable of making their own decisions.
Know not thou that womankind is in many ways wiser and stronger than credit is ascribed  unto them?”

“Enough! I tire of this dragging of the feet!” Screamed the first angel.
“Let us set fire to this matter! We shall see if he comes refined like gold or burnt like chaff!”
And so saying, the first angel robed himself in a terrifying display of smoke, fire, fumes, thunder and lightning.
The vista was as if hell itself had arisen from the fiery depths and come upon the earth.

“Fear not son of man.” Said the second angel,
“For thou art been given dominion till this earth shall pass away”
And so saying, he stretched forth his hands and commanded: “Peace, be still.”
Immediately, there was another shaking in the heavens. And the darkness passed away along with the first angel and all the evil thereof.

And behold, the sky was as a day just dawned, with the sun in all its glory, shedding light on all below.

“What happens now?” I asked.
“Son of man, thy will be done. But thou art responsibility for thine action and inaction.”
“But consider this: the same desires, displeasure and human feelings afflicts the fair lady. So when thou taketh thy decisions, remember this.”

“Is there any hope?” I inquired.
“There is always hope. But is it thine or hers? For what thou hopest for today, may be thy regret tomorrow.”
“I pray thee therefore, pray, and listen. If thou art prayed and listened. Thou wouldst not be in thy current dilemma.”
“Happiness is within thy grasp. But thou must look beyond thine nose.”
“And why dost thou torture thyself. Why not let go – let her go; keep thy promise.”
“Indeed, I promised. I intend to. I have set my hands to it and will surely try. Thus was the promise made.”
“So why dost thou set this down in black and white? Would it not aid thy labour and thy course if thou dost not?”
“Truly, thou art on point. But I once was part of a little group where the teacher asked of each person a simple question.”
“Which was?”
“Have thou felt the fire that burns without flame? That makes thine heart constrict but not painfully?”
“And only one solitary lady said “Nay”, to which the teacher lamented her loss.”
“Therefore I set it down, so that even if I never again feel that fire; in case I am asked when my joints are stiff, and I cannot recall the meal I had in the morning; I can still say:
“Lo! There! Read! I once felt the fire!”
“May it be unto thee as thou desireth.”
And so saying, the angel was caught up in a beam of blinding light.
And once again I was alone with my unwelcome thoughts.

Notes: this is the last in the “series” (hopefully) – it’s easy to spot the common thread in the related posts.