We went out before the museums closed
It was Wednesday weeks ago, and as usual, when I wait for you, my heart beats fast.
Outside the train station, the rain is relentless, the spring is yet to be seen and that winter — although weak and barely giving us any sign of snow — is not giving up. I sigh once more as I check the time on my cell phone. It’s time, your punctuality matches mine, and I know that in a few moments, I will see you get off the train.
Is the rain a cliché in love stories? Maybe not; it’s not in those that occur in March, or February, or in any month when the rain is there to accompany the steps of two people who go out to share a street.
If I had known that this would be the last time I would see you in many weeks, I would have said what I was thinking. And it wasn’t just a hello, How are you?
I would have told you that the color of your eyes makes me think of impossible and distant worlds, like distant planets where castaway cosmonauts from the cosmos find life again. That the gold in your hair reminds me of the gold worn by ancient kings or honey collected by peasant hands. That your sincere smile has been engraved in my memory for some weeks now and that I would like to confess in your ear that I await the day when I will receive the sunrise at your side.
You got off your train and saw me. We exchanged the formalities and news, your most recent misadventures in a class, the inconveniences of a train that delays its arrival, and how annoying it is to walk in the rain.
Thinking annoys like a walk in the rain.
I tell you I like the rain, it reminds me of my city. That rainy, cloudy weather that’s perfect for quiet reflection while looking out the window of a bus. You disagree, wet weather will never be to your liking and, you can’t wait for summer.
Perhaps I know you well enough to know that summer will not please you either and that the long days of June will become — for both of us — a new source of small complaints, perhaps little excuses to talk during the bright hours of the night, common in these latitudes.
We walk to the museum. Today the entrance is free, and probably that is enough of an attraction to go. Maybe you don’t know it yet, but I don’t need excuses to see you. Something else I should have said a few weeks ago, and now I have no choice but to pause.
We walk for hours between paintings and works of art, stopping to admire the ones that seem, stranger, commenting on colors and figures. We are not experts in art, far from it, we don’t need to be to appreciate it. All I need is your company to comment on patterns, colors, and funny faces in paintings older than us.
We sit down and look at a big painting. A paint of saints reviewing what appears to be large scrolls of ancient knowledge. Or medical bills, or whatever. There again, time stops for both of us, and I dare to look at you again. If I had known that would be the last time I would see you for weeks, I would not have let go of your hand. I would have detailed better the color of your green nails, memorized every flash, and then recreated them in my imagination. I would have appreciated the texture of your blue coat, your white hands, and my own skin, which feels different after your touch. I am different, everything is different.
I recently moved to this city, and everything is new to me, however since I met you, I feel that I must rediscover everything again. Rediscover the world by your side, and if life doesn’t give me time to be the whole world, at least this coffee shop I know, go ahead, sit down and make yourself comfortable and let me pay the bill for once.
Rediscover How does it feel to walk along the pier in your company? How is it different to see the sun fall on white cathedrals standing next to you? How does a drink of beer taste different if you are smiling on the other side of the table? Listening to the frantic gulls, watching boats in the distance, reading a book in silence. Missing, writing, dreaming, being alone. Rediscovering.
We went out before the museums closed. We walked the streets before the ghosts did. Remember all that, all that awaits us after the fear.
There are many things I have to tell you, when we regain that underestimated ability, to find each other among the crowds.