pages 32 and 33
I mourn my poetry and my writing. I think of the collection of words, rejected on the pages of my notebooks and journals, sick with melancholic sentences, weaving in and out of realism like blue yarn in a quilt a distant relative made. Moreover I think of loneliness—how the words that I have labored over have come to embody what it is that I long for. It’s a package seeking a destination and a loner finally searching for a social outlet. My thoughts themselves are fragments of melodramatic prose.
I’ve started seeking out tales of misery. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe just to give me some creative inspiration, or to give my own life experience (or lack thereof) some perspective.
There was an article that I read a few months back in the newspaper discussing a murder that was committed in Yaletown in a beautiful blue high-rise typical to the area—very exclusive. A true event so wrought with obsession and romance that it spurred on my own writing of passionate affairs…for a time. It was regarding a man living on his own in that exclusive complex: a one-bedroom suite, tastefully furnished, most likely not by him. There were pictures on page 2. His career was finally unfolding in a successful manner: a new position at an advertising agency in the downtown core, a recent promotion with a substantial raise and great benefits. He could attend classy events, had a charge account and a company car. Any Greek would tell you he was a man poised for tragedy. Someone we’d love to see fail. Enter the woman—three years his junior, Blackfoot, Japanese and Swedish descent, a graphic artist new to the agency and to the city. She discussed many ideas with him, he helped her out in her first few weeks—they worked on different floors. She asked him out for a drink, he had originally thought to decline (nib…company ink, etc etc), but accepted in the end.
He discussed how he, walking home from work, would stop to pick up strawberries from an organic market: three plastic containers of them. Arriving home he would pick through each container, selecting the reddest, most attractive berries, the remaining not-so-attractive berries would be saved for his cereal. Washed in icy water and hulled, he placed the perfect red fruit in a porous metal bowl in the fridge. She would arrive. He would open white wine, something he “had kicking around.” She would eat the strawberries, knowing that he’d selected the best (it was that obvious). This, she would later tell him, “was very kind,” something she had appreciated and wouldn’t forget. Their lovemaking was soft and wonderful, lasting through the night and into the morning. Bed, kitchen, floor, living room. They would explore both age-old methods and modern therapist tested ones and, upon waking, they would shower in his enormous terracotta tiled bathroom, candles would be lit everywhere. The water droplets would form tiny mirrors refracting the candlelight and airbrushing away any impossibly small imperfections on her body. He was blind to them from the beginning though. He recalled the way the lukewarm water would give them goose bumps on their shoulders. She loved him he thought.
Her lip-gloss was sweet, “shortbread” in flavor, lasting on his lips through their days at the office and he always resisted licking it off completely. He wanted it to last the day. This wasn’t meant to be forever. He said she spoke of former lovers and he listened, his throat dry. He would smile and try to not act jealous. Deep down he knew that she had wanted him to be. She told him about her romantic past, not really considering whether or not he wanted to know about it. Then she stopped visiting his office at work, then his home. The phone ringing was never her anymore, he would later tell reporters. She would nod to him only in the office but never spoke, he would stand alone in the halls of the building, under the hum of the fluorescent lights as days relaxed into nights. He wasn’t really waiting—just…hoping. Some would call it hope.
“You can’t imagine,” he was quoted, “it’s impossible to describe to someone that dark feeling.” She went missing. Was found. Stanley Park, half uncovered out of the shallow three-foot grave. His arrest publicized. Deadly Romance, the papers read, Killed for Love, Crime of Passion. He won’t do any more interviews—he’s already a celebrity of sorts. All media footage shows him crying, his face grief-stricken, blotchy, uncovered. Hands cuffed, orange coveralls, bloodshot eyes, downturn mouth. The citizens of the city, his neighborhood, were furious with him. I however, allow my heart to break for him, if only a little. Every human needs that I think, even if it just proves to myself that I can be that evolved.