It was as if I was the guy who sings in a bar on every weekend, the only day I get to see you. And you walk in like sunshine but just a little deep in your own mess, enough to make me smile, though purely out of love. I wait for you to find a table and settle down and after some time you do. You order your first glass of beer and although the second would be enough to make you a little tipsy you’d somehow remain composed as if you know you are going home all alone but you haven’t had the first one yet and as you drink your first sip I strum my guitar and play the song I had been writing from the day I saw you walking in through that door dragging behind all the magic in the world, so effortlessly.
Then you turn around just to see the face behind the voice and you see me looking at you and our eyes meet but without a hint of any recollections or recognition from any time, you turn back to your table, looking languidly at the empty glass and then at the second one, deciding if you want to get a little more drunk. The man behind the counter looks at you. His eyes are filled with pity, disgust, but mostly resentment for his job and with a fake smile he asks you the same old question, “Do you need a refill?”
You then look at him with a blank stare while there’s nothing going inside your head yet everything at the same time. You try hard to make a decision. But then again my voice, somehow pushing through everyone else’s, reaches your ears and you smile at him and reply with a gentle no. He smiles back, a little wider and sincere now and this time his eyes only reflect pity for you.
I’m still singing and it hasn’t been even eight minutes yet, but it still feels like eight hundred and I’m still waiting for you to turn around. Maybe a smile other than your own would make you a little less sombre. But you drink that second glass of beer anyway and my song comes to an end too.
Disappointed, you try to finish the rest of it and leave the bar as fast as you can but I strum my guitar again and your hand, sliding across the edge of the table, slows down a bit and you let yourself sink into the chair once again but you never look back at me.
This time it’s a song about broken hearts and you twitch a little and I see a tear dropping down your cheeks on the table mixing along with the spilled beer on the table and I wish somehow I could drown in that. I wish I could be at the table, sitting beside you but instead I just sing and keep singing. The crowd is good and so is the song. Still, no one gets what’s it about but you. You, who is now looking at the dimly lit ceiling, maybe thinking about something or someone or just trying to stop anymore tears from falling down and it breaks my heart and my voice breaks a little too.
So you finally turn around but I can’t smile. Damn it, I can’t smile back. “Smile god damnit, smile” I say to myself but I just keep looking at you and you at me. You see the glint in my eyes, shinier than usual and then you smile, broken but little by little you smile. My chest becomes less stiff and I let my breath out that felt like it was being held for so long and my song finally comes to an end- the longest ten minutes of my life and there are only two glasses of beer on your table, which is lesser than usual. You decided to not get much drunk but this time the reason is different than the usual one, this time you have someone to walk you home.
But only, you never liked beer and you never came to the bar and I never sang and I could never walk you home. But I did write the song. I swear I did.
Image courtesy – Google
Illustration by Mandy Jurgens