“Sometime I wonder what your brain is made of.”
I did not expect her to speak to me at all, and what came out her mouth sounded so foreign I needed several seconds to process that the statement was indeed made my way.
“Memory. Ashen and pure, black and burned.”
It didn’t left her unfazed, although she was hardly amused either. Stop blaming, I was ill-equipped to answer such a thing spontaneously. In defense, it was an answer I actually put my faith in.
“They say it’s unhealthy to be fixated in the past.”
Falling autumn leaves framed us like a cheesy drama scene, and I could almost hear the background music playing. In reality, the breeze was less dramatic but more freezing. I shouldn’t have gone outside without a coat on.
She poked me impatiently while I got lost on my trail of thoughts.
“But I am not. I am simply more in touch with the river of time. Actually, it’s more a railroad, where trains go back and forth in a given interval, crisscrossing one another.”
“No, spare me from your weird sprawling analogy. You always end up mixing it up with anything else, fiction tangled in reality in the guise of profound-sounding diction.”
She actually clasped her hands around her ears, managing to look silly and authoritative all at once.
I am not sure I described that correctly, but getting it right would mean me rambling for quite some time, a talent I am sure you won’t appreciate now. Not in the middle of a story.
“Should you put it that bluntly? it ruins the poetic quality.”
“I prefer to stay grounded on the solidly mundane.”
“You must be fun at parties.”
She did a good job rolling her eyes. See, I wonder how she manages these expressions.
“Some people prefer to be able to have a conversation going without decoding layers and layers of complex wordplays in real time.”
I shrugged. “You asked me first,” I reminded.
“I did.” She sipped her coffee, inhaling deeply. The warm air filled her lungs, wispy air left around her mouth. “I did,” she repeated.
We did not talk anymore after that, eyes drifted apart. She saw the concrete, worn out trodden by thousands of users per day, and I saw beyond. I saw tomorrow and next year and the year after that, yesterday and the months before it. Present is a joke.