Day 7: Ghosts

It is dark, yet another weekend night, yet another dim, smoky club of the moment, populated by the shiny, brittle people of the city. I sit, composed, beautiful almost, short hair spiked up, my face hiding nothing, for all intents and purposes interested in what the man of the moment is saying, yet.

My eyes glitter in the light.

I turn away in mock protest from my conversation partner, playful indignation writ large. My hands flutter, laugh while my heart is still and my eyes, searching, searching always in the twilight purgatory that I inhabit so comfortably. I turn back and laugh to my partner, doubling over in mirth, an almost real response to a witty comment of his, yet looking, looking, as is my custom.

Sometimes, my eyes catch on a strong jawline and my heart skips. Other times, it's watching the fall of hair over a razor sharp cheekbone, or the cut of a swathe of broad shoulders suspended over a narrow waist that causes my breathe to still, and I ask myself. Is it B? I see the Boy I've loved and lost, so many years ago and recently again, in the shadows of the forms that occupy the space around me. The cigarette smoke, the cigar smoke weave a hallucinatory mist around me. I am imagining things again and am disappointed, inevitably.

The eyes are different, the height is different, the person I am haunted by is not there. But in the diffused, pulsing eternity contained inside those many, different clubs, of too many cigarettes and bodies and the overwhelming reek of alcohol, I can always hope and be disappointed anew. A cycle, of sorts.

Sometimes, at particularly close calls, I wonder: What I will say to him, if it is him. What will I do, if it is him. Will I go up to him and talk to him, tilt up my head to him like I once used to do, so many years ago and let my smile touch my eyes for the first time in the longest time? My heart flutters, then falls. The resemblance is not there.

Perhaps somethings are better left unsaid, unshrived, unsanctified. Better that he haunts me a wraith of times past then a man in flesh and blood. I could not live with the man, a chimera inhabiting the hard lanky body, speaking with the neutral tenor voice, exuding the same smell. The boy that I loved is dead and I should leave him be, resurrected only in my memory, faithful in the way the man could never me.

The crowd parts and shifts, and I find the man I have sought, brought to life, made flesh, made real. My heart aches for what was, what might have been and what has passed between and before us. For what cannot be changed.

I smile at him directly, once. It does not reach my eyes. I look away.

He continues to haunt me, still.

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