We had broken up over the summer, and not in a good way. She was back for a week to close the books on her apartment and officially discharge from college. Then she was going back to Japan. I had agreed to drive her to the airport. We said our goodbyes and that was it.
I pulled into the driveway and got out of my car. It was a quiet morning, but in hindsight perhaps it was just a regular morning. The same as the day before. It seemed quiet in relation to the utter chaos we were about to be thrown into.
As I walked up to the door I could hear the phone ringing. Then It stopped. As I turned the key it started ringing again. I knew it was just a phone and that inside was just a small micro-chip, programmed to produce the exact same tone, day after day, as long as it has power running through its cords. But on this particular morning, if such a thing is possible, it rang frantically. I picked up the receiver. It was her.
She had been crying. “My flight’s been cancelled” were the first words she managed to get out. “There are so many people. The woman told me to leave – to go home. There was an explosion. I need you to pick me up.” I got back into my car, turned the ignition and then flipped on the radio. I drove East down an eerily empty Route 66 towards Reagan National Airport. I picked her up and we drove back in silence, listening to the radio. There was no traffic, which I was thankful for.
And there we were: two ex-lovers, brutally forced to reopen what had been sealed shut. We ate our meals together, shared a cigarette here and there but very little was said. What ensued felt like 2 weeks, but could very well have been just a few days, of waiting, awkwardly, in silence. Waiting for news to break. Waiting for emails and phone calls to come. Waiting for what would come next. Waiting for the planes to fly. Just waiting.
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."