#13. the third song

I saw you standing there among the crowd.

Underneath the freezing snow storm, and

a bus stop that was far too warm, filled to the brim

with human heat,

you were standing next to me.

Your eyes said you have been through too much and at the same time,

they were burning with a desire to be through many more.

You never noticed me: I was the most regular human body

among the many human bodies that kept pushing you against me.

Right from the start, you were always against me.

But that’s not true, I sit by the tree trunk, chewing on a flower stem, talking to the cat.

I find talking to Becky to be quite amusing at times. She is a sort of comfort in her own ways when she sits by my feet like a loaf of bread full of fur. She tucks all her paws underneath all the fat, her whiskers quiver as a butterfly passes by.

I saw him right from the start. I noticed the dark blue hoodie covering the silky black hair. He had pretty long bang at the time. He cut it shortly afterward. After meeting me, I mean. I wonder why.

You said you were fine being alone,

and I hated it when you said that.

You said you didn’t get who I was anymore:

Darling, has there been a time when you see me for who I am?

Not the funny me, the timid me, the shy me who laughed at your jokes,

but the solitary me who was trying to hold onto straws

just to be living.

Was you just passing me by?

Or was it me who left everything behind?

I wonder since when

both of us leads a life we hate –

a life in which it burns to love and to live at the same time.

Perhaps it was because I told him I liked him better with short bang. It was an awkward situation then. We just finished arguing and I craved the temptation of his flesh. The delicious warmth. The softly toned muscles and the petal skin.

Was it just craving then, Becky asks, or was it also loving?

I tell her I don’t know the answer. I guess it did involve some sort of loving. I remember being quite upset after he cuts his bang. This will be the last time I act according to your will, he said to me, and there will be no next time. I didn’t realize the importance of that action then. Perhaps at that time, he had already decided – no, he might even have planned it all. His death. My broken heart. And this weird dream-like journey I am in.

Was it craving? Or was it also loving?

I didn’t fell for you at first sight –

those kind of story has nothing to tell.

I followed your footsteps,

and right when I slipped on the staircase,

losing the final straw to keep on existing,

you catched me and showed me the living.

This is beautiful, you said,

living is beautiful.

Darling, there are many regrets,

many sadness,

many what-ifs and what-nots

I wanted to do.

But there’s no use in talking about all the would’ve – should’ve – could’ve.

And if I am given the chance to go back to the same bus stop

on that exact same day

at the exact same time,

I would still choose to follow your footsteps, because –

Without you, I won’t know that every breath I take could be that beautiful and precious, that’s what I said to him, I turn to Becky, who seems to be quite infatuated with the butterfly, I wish I had told him that more often.

Nobody is telling anybody the right words. To put words in the right sentences and speak them at the right time requires much training. Or you could choose an easier path.

What path?

Be a cat.

I look at the White Misty Thingy. He is smiling. Not the shy, timid little smile he often gave me when he was The Lover, but a bright, gentle smile.

You have been through too much, and –

You always want to be through many more.

I noticed you right from the start, and –

Given the chance to make it new –

I would still choose to get on the same bus as you.



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Author: Thanh Dinh

A writer at heart. A pessimist on the brain. I am always on the great journey of finding what it means to be living.

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