Always a Pace or Two Ahead of Us

“Perhaps, I thought, while her words still hung in the air between us like a wisp of tobacco smoke–a thought to fade and vanish like smoke without a trace–perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; a hill of many invisible crests; doors that open as in a dream to reveal only a further stretch of carpet and another door; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.” Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited

Doing my damnedest not to think about her, I add only flimsy layers of distraction to the palimpsest. Saw her again last night. The conflicted coupling of the sexual nature of her outfit, a plunging decolletage and a rising inverted V-shaped hem and triumphant three-inch heels, with her awkward, hesitant movements and spastic bouts of excitement confirms that she is, sartorial sultriness aside, more ingenue than vixen. Still. Still. We spent the evening pretending not to notice each other. At least I did; she may, very well, have not noticed me.

Even if we had said more than our awkward hello, I am chasing only a hint and a symbol of something much more enduring. Eventually age will ravage the looks I adore, and intimacy will remove the distance that allows me to contemplate her almost religiously, filling me then with contempt for all her annoying habits that I have yet to discover. The sadness that may have left upon her entrance into my life will return, not having forgotten the residence of the heart. In glimpsing her, I see not her, ultimately, but the shadow that is able to turn the corner before I can trace its outline.

What then is the point of entering into any relationship? Any number, but I leave the paeans of love for those already caught up in the dance of Venus, for those already on the dance floor. Like last night, I remain hugging the wall, looking through one door only to see another.

 

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About Bourbon Apocalypse: A Whiskey Son of Sorrow

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing." ~ Kingsley Amis
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