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.