All the times I waited for you, sitting on a bench in a park, looking at the pigeons or sitting alone in a café, looking outside the window, watching the passersby laughing or frowning as if looking at the flow of a river. All the times I waited for a smile, a sign to break the silence or a letter of yours letting me know you do care.
All the times I tried to decode your silence as if it were the greatest mystery of the universe. All the times I waited for you inside the dark room of a theater, half asleep in my velvet chair, waiting for you as if waiting for Godot.
You never know where silence went, if silence installed inside your chest or inside your heel, if it can be healed or not.
And then I got up, the bench remained empty behind me. There was a bit of cold coffee on the bottom of a cup. The wind softly blew the curtains of an empty café. And I walked around, with the fresh memory of a theater play I watched that just made my torment more vivid. I walked the empty streets of my hometown, not knowing where home is anymore because it’s been two years now since I live in a bubble.
I arrive home and I sit in the kitchen, I am still waiting for my hunger to stop, I look at the birds I painted last night and I invoke all the gods of structure to come back and put structure into my thoughts cause I am drifting somewhere far away from you and far away from myself. I will wait here in the kitchen, hoping for my hunger for you to stop, while deep frying in oil color a bird of paradise.
Another day passes and I am still bathing in silence as if swimming on the bottom of the ocean. I think about all the women that waited for their men to come back, lovers who left on journeys on the sea or to war. Some did come back and some didn’t. That’s life. You didn’t leave on a ship or to fight in the desert, you just left to battle yourself. And that is the contemporary war we are all leading. Ourselves against ourselves.
You still didn’t come back and the heart is a delicate mechanism, I think about those anatomical diagrams, red coming in and blue coming out. Blue because the blood coming out carries oxygen and we all know life is about breathing. I look at an X-ray of my heart today and it is all blurred, I see all kinds of birds and fish dancing around. I must have gone mad with all this waiting. Cause madness is an easy way to escape pain. But I am warrior myself, I lead the same private wars everyone else is leading. Ourselves against ourselves, in an heroic quest to fight loneliness and distance. I will not go mad, I will just go swimming every now and then on the bottom of the ocean, among colorful jellyfish and dancing corals. And those seahorses I like so much. I believe madness is just an immense sadness we do not understand.
I am still waiting for you to come back because I am a hopeless romantic, although being romantic is not a disease. But with time, my waiting changed in tone and color, it became more abstract. I started learning how to live with it. Despair changed to hope and as time passes, it will start changing into something similar to a religious feeling. ‘Cause my religion is passion and my expectations sky high. There is much love inside my heart and I do not want to kill it. Love is a pure, uplifting feeling, that has nothing to do with possession. This is why people who are capable of much love start becoming spiritual at some point in their life.
I don’t go that often to the cafés alone, I laugh and frown like everybody else. But somewhere inside that delicate mechanism that is this heart of mine, there will always be a place that is only yours.
I still don’t know if you will ever come back or not, but what I do know is that this waiting is worthy, cause when I cease the war against myself for a second and I stop to look around, as if looking at the other spectators during the break of a theater play, let’s say for instance ‘Waiting for Godot’, I see myself in the mirror with a bigger heart now. It must be filled with red birds and blue fish and hope and longing. And love, of course.
–Laura Livia Grigore