The blond girl waving her pony tail is smiling behind the counter of the small coffee shop at the underground exit, making her cheekbones shine under the heavy layer of bronze blush and her white teeth sparkle under the yellow, artificial light. Her customer is a regular and so their encounter is warm and pleasant.
“It must be so nice to be smiled at like that as you’re getting your coffee in the morning”, I tell him and he smiles in approval, holding my hand tightly and leading me up the stairs and into the morning light.
There was another earthquake last night. A strong one. This time it caught me in a completely different situation than last time. Travel plans already made, cards laid face up on the table, bare heart and warm arms. Another jump into the unknown. Another leap of faith. Come what may. Thy will be done.
Leaving the blond girl behind, we’re walking right through the old city, with its street sweepers all busy and cold, cigarette buds bearing marks of lipstick and kisses and alcohol and promises, lies and stories over what all of us are going through – the pursuit of happiness.
My right eye is upset and keeps shedding tears, all swollen and red, itchy and bad. The eye that insisted on becoming blue last month. The eye I hit against the asphalt. The eye that has got tired of seeing too much. The eye that wants to sleep. I keep encouraging it to show me the truth no matter what.
And still, a part of me, like those street sweepers cleaning the narrow streets in the old city the morning after each party, is desperately trying to clear the area of all the information that may cause pain. I am not afraid of the truth. I know it too well. I am afraid of the impossibility to keep up an illusion long enough to give me the impression I can still be loved.
PS Sorry for the drama. Getting back to happiness mode in 3… 2… 1…