Took a sad song of one sweet evening*
I smiled and quickly turned away.
It's not easy singing sad songs
But still the easiest way I have to say.
She pulled up to the light; the mist of the morning rain lingered long enough to fog her glasses. Lifting up her top a bit, she took off the glasses and wiped them with her tee shirt. She turned her head slightly to cut down the glare of the sun that was finally poking thru the clouds. The rays glanced off the macadam, leaving brightly colored puddles of water mixed with a bit of petrol and oil. A canvas not unlike the one that waited for her upon her return home.
Looking down the street both ways was almost second nature to her; a routine that kept her alive and enabled careless drivers to keep their licenses to wreak havoc upon other cyclists on other days. She was about to proceed across the intersection when an idiot in a Mini sped past her, nearly hitting her front wheel. She held her grips tight; all the while shaking her virtual fist and sending other not so nice gestures the fool’s way. Shaking her head she crossed the road and pedaled the final few metres to her flat.
“Tea’s on, hon,” the voice called from the kitchen as she leaned her bike against the wall of the front hallway. Placing her helmet and gloves on the side table, she walked into the kitchen to find her partner pouring two mugs of tea. April was always an odd month, weather-wise. One day it would be clear and cold; the next day a bit warmer, but rainy all afternoon. Today was rainy and cold, and she sat down at the kitchen table, thankful for the hot of the tea.
“Tell me one thing, love, aye?”
“For you? Anything.” She nodded and smiled while she savored the tea. It was a bit stronger today; maybe a new blend or just a few extra seconds of steeping.
“Why do you write so many sad stories?” The question was reasonable in a way, but a bit off, since she did write stories that were sad but hopeful, with a rich tapestry of colorful characters, to mix metaphors. That canvas with the real-life gesso and the thick but encouraging oils of real people that seemed so appealing to her readers.
“It’s because life is sad, dear! But it’s fun and promising and hopeful as well, aye?” Her partner nodded.
“If I only wrote about how wonderful my life is now, I’d be shortchanging the folks who read my stories. First, and probably too true; Life, no matter how well we plan, can really kick us in the arse, you see? It’s not that I’m having a bad day or a bad week so much as we all have bad days and bad weeks and bad years. But the telling of the tale becomes so much more interesting because life…my life…your life? Life becomes so much more interesting when we realize just how much we have in common, you follow me?”
“A bit, but go on…interesting?”
“Interesting and exciting and a pain and an ache and a sob and a care….like sad songs that aren’t really all that sad when you realize life can be hard, but it can be wonderful even in the hardness. The stories are the same way. It’s in finding out that even when the car won’t start, that there’s a pretty ‘bird’ offering a ride, or when you find out someone really cares only after things go really bad; the one who hangs tough when everyone leaves?”
“The adventure is in the journey as much as in the final destination?”
“Exactly, since everyone, whether or not they want to admit it, is having as hard a time at times as you are; that you’ve got company, and that it gets better when you realize that it doesn’t have to remain all bad in the midst of bad things. And of course it makes the bright sun almost shine even brighter in a way when the good things come; an appreciation of what you’ve got.”
“So bad is good?”
“No…more like bad isn’t as bad as you think it is, and good is simply wonderful, I suppose?”
“You going to write today?”
“Can I ever not write?”
“No, I don’t suppose you can.”
“No…I don’t suppose I can, either.” She nodded and took one last sip of tea before turning her chair around to face the computer sitting on the desk. She actually laced her fingers together and stretched them as if to pick up pen and ink, but instead placed her hands softly on the keyboard.
‘Whatdya mean, yer no longer me lad?’ The girl looked sideways and her jaw dropped even further at the words she heard next,
‘I’m not yer lad because I’m not a lad at all, darling. Sorry…’”
I had waited for time to change her.
The only change that came was over me.
She pretended not to want love --
I hope she was only fooling me.
*Look into the Sun
by Jethro Tull
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