31. to watch the sky in silence

wall shadows london

 

This must be fiction, you say, because you’ve never grown impatient. But I’ve left out entire episodes: long days spent in a hotel room, hours of lovemaking, of talking, lying together in silence in the dimming light as time seemed to stand still. The moment I arrived and saw you through the plate glass window; the way we sat and held hands and took each other in without a word. The moment I arrived at Gatwick. It’s all mixed up in my mind now, there’s no longer any sequence or story. Only a few weeks later, but already another kind of intimacy, a yearning all the more specific because it knows things now: a certain flavor of toast, the quiet pleasure of drinking Turkish coffee and watching the day go by through the huge windows of your mother’s apartment. It was like living in a time capsule, a curious apartment complex that reminded me of vintage James Bond, a movie set waiting for a movie, an address posh enough to flaunt at the time and still somehow grand, though the cement arches are crumbling and the paint flaking from the balconies. I want to make time stand still; I want to lie on your mother’s couch with my laptop. I want to let days slip by, wondering lazily if we should go to the theater, to the Tate, if we should cook at home or go out, wondering lazily if we should take a nap, or make love. It almost felt as though life could be like that: long stretches of peace and silence, a sun pursuing its gradual course across the sky as shifting clouds give rise to a corona of brilliant rays that light up the wallpaper and knickknacks in an other-worldly glow. A maid, a snoring dog; nothing alarming to intrude from the outside. Is it possible to feel that safe, with you? I am hounded by catastrophe and ruin; it is the poisonous underworld of my imagination, the dungeon of my worst fears. Time should be made to stand still—it moves too quickly for me, I can’t possibly do the things I need to, I want to rest, to be silent, to watch the sky in silence, with you next to me.

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