People rarely inspire me.
I know this seems a strange statement, especially coming from me, but in reality, it’s not all that surprising. I usually get inspired by the feelings people can evoke within me – the absolute clarity of a moment of love, the spiking anger of a fight, the kickstart of your libido when a lover enters the room, the dull throb of sadness when he leaves, acute empathy for someone in difficulty – these are the fruits on which my muse feeds endlessly.
I can count on my fingers the actual personalities that have inspired me. These jewels are so rare that when I come across them, I wish I could grab onto them and just absorb whatever it is about them that sweeps me off my feet. I realize that I am making it sound like falling in love – and in a way it is. Not in any sexual sense, but in terms of the romance of it all; that illogical logic: the knowledge that you are in the presence of someone who you know you were meant to meet, for whatever reason.
There doesn’t even have to be a reason, other than simply so that they could inspire you.
Evening. Dusk would hint its imminent arrival, readying the sky for sunset. Shadows would lengthen with the darkening of light and in our shared bedroom, my sister and I would take our cue and switch on all the lights, unable to bear even a slight change in the bright light of day.
My mother – a die-hard environmentalist – would despair at the unabashed lack of conscientiousness in her daughters and our evenings would invariably be peppered with anything from gentle lectures on energy saving to irritated scoldings accompanied by the switching off of some of our lights.
“But we’re children of the light” my sister would protest, leaping about in front of my mother hopefully. My mother would roll her eyes and smile at this defence and I would giggle in spite of myself.
The lights stayed off though.
It’s happening… And yet… Could it?
She giggles. Bites her lip and smiles at herself in the mirror. Checks her hair. Again.
Such a weird mix of feelings. Suddenly strange. Suddenly shy. Suddenly good. Suddenly self conscious. Suddenly happy. Suddenly unsure. Suddenly even a little scared.
The drive is long, the roads are wet. The static on the radio crackles and she remembers with a jolt to put on another song. Quickly sifting through the songs on her iPod, she looks for one to fit her unusual mood. She picks Love and Affection by Joan Armatrading – one of her all-time favourites. She’s listened to it hundreds of times before, but when she sings it now, she mixes up the words. She glances at herself in the rear-view mirror and can’t hold in the laugh that bubbles up into her throat at her own silliness.
A boy on the road catches her eye and smiles despite the rain pelting down on him. It’s a flirtatious smile and she rolls her eyes in exasperation as the car zooms past, leaving him behind. Continue reading That old feeling…
Funny how it can all change from one moment to the next.
I still can’t believe how happy I was… then. There’s a line now. A big fat line that divides everything into ‘before’ and ‘after’, ‘then’ and ‘now’. A line that spells disaster and taunts you with its blurriness. You wonder if that moment that you’ve picked out was actually the moment. Or whether it had been coming all along and you had been so deliriously happy that hadn’t wanted to see it there. Strange how happiness can blind you, set you up to fall. How cruel is that?
And now after all the deliberations, after all the pushing and pulling and running away and running back only to run away again, it’s over. Just one, ugly word: over. And there’s no one there to lash out at when all the rage boiling under the surface finally spills over and burns. No one to cry to when you feel so devastated you can’t breathe. No one to hear the words that keep throbbing behind your eyes, stinging tears out of them. “I miss you”. Continue reading What a difference a day made.