A self-destructive playwright faces his greatest challenge.
Let's take her for example, who was she and what was she doing here? Her name was Leah, and she just had a bad day. That you could establish right on the spot, even though the thoughts in your head felt like broken puzzle pieces in need of assembly themselves.
You reached for a glass of water, and consumed liquid your body certainly didn't need at the moment, after a night like last night. But you needed a convincing pause. Leah just asked for, "...some words of encouragement." You wondered, why she felt your words alone could rectify the damage's in her life (maybe because they have in the past?).
Life's like a hand of poker; you never know what kind of hand it will deal. At the moment, this card on top was against you. Surface of things is, she wasn't just a meaningless face among the screening audience for your latest film. This was a real human being made of flesh and blood, and the impact of your convictions entrapped within this artistic shell-outlet meant the whole wide world to her.
The first time you met her was after the premiere of your latest Broadway play. It spoke to her. And she wanted to personally thank you. She seemed interesting enough for you to have kept asking her questions, longing for her replies and starring deeply in to her eyes the whole time.
She was much shorter, but you didn't look down at her, instead you brought her to your level. Her baggage suitcases made the floorboards of your home creak, as she unpacked and allowed you a sneak-peak-preview in to her turmoil's and tribulations, that shaped the way she is today.
But her presence here on this day was much unexpected. You have already provided her with the tools to chisel her life anew from the boulders she was carrying on her back. So why is she here? This 19 year old Capricorn, whom at one point, thought the right man would catch her falling and her life would magically glue itself together in to a perspective of visual completeness. But the only perspective was, that she was a true hopeless romantic, running around with ideas of romanticism out of Greek Mythology in her pretty blonde head.
Strung out, hung over and in need of some nicotine to calm your irritated nerves, you reached for your pack and lit a cigarette. It struck you how ironic it must seem, here you are destroying your heart by causing it respiratory damage, and watching this self-destructive and very self-centred behaviour, is someone of pureness and righteousness. An individual that doesn't need controlled substances, instead; only the freedom that strong emotional love for another could provide.
She realized her true self worth. And you helped her, whether you want to take credit or not. You didn't have to bother with the burden that was her life, she even told you that much. But you persisted; you wanted her to become someone in life, to achieve the personal goals she set out for herself a long time ago. So no wonder she is here; no wonder she can't let someone who showed her sympathy and compassion at a time of need, simply walk out of her life. She in fact wants you in her life, as a lover, a friend, and a spiritual guide to inner sanctuary of tranquility and peace.
Your mind momentarily reminisces about a revolutionary moment that caused a pivotal uprising in your relationship with Leah — the promise.
"Are you sure you want me in your life? I can only improve it."
"Depends if you stick long enough... to improve it."
"I tend to stick around, because I want to build and not destroy something."
Ever since the consequence of that momentous moment, embroidered itself on her memory, her feet discontinued convulsing to an inaudible drumbeat of unfriendly adversaries and marched forth to her own tune yielded from your words; to her own instrumental melodic composition, accompanying your colloquial words, carrying with it particles of chemistry.
You classified this as compatibility, instead of love at first sight, but your "promise" forever stayed tattooed on her skin with a monogrammed metaphorical meticulousness. You meant to say one thing, but ended up saying something else completely, winning her over with your words, unconsciously hinting at the possibility of a long lasting relationship.
Misspent from mixing numerous alcoholic beverages, you feel inadequate, letting out a moan of sorrow inside yourself.
"You are just going to sit there and not say anything?"
"I have been sitting here trying to think of what to say, without being too repetitive, but since its not working, I am just not going to say anything. I am a human being just like you, not some oracle that guides people with the power of his words. Sure, I can write, but I am not much special in any other way."
"But, it's their simplicity that speaks to me. They make more sense to me, than anything anyone has ever told me in my life." She looks at you, and sensing no forthcoming reply decides to continue, "Give me a hug."
You oblige to her request, as if it was as difficult, as enduring an embrace at the most morbid of ceremonies — a funeral.
You advance, shortening the definite distance between yourself and her tensely aware body. Your head falls down, as if from an intense feeling of personal guilt standing before her. She catches it and motherly cradles it on her chest. Abreast, your ear planted firmly over her left breast, listening to her rhythmically beating heart. There is a certain abandonment of all preconceived emotions, for it is a feeling like quite no other.
"I know, I can't have you. But I just wanted... wanted to feel you in my arms once more. I wanted to smell you, to feel your touch as well, as to touch you and finally to watch you fall asleep playing with strands of your hair."
You break away from her embrace, "If you knew what was going to happen... why did you come here? Are you looking for appreciation, for everything you did?"
"I didn't do the things I've done for you, for respect or credit. I did them, because I loved you and more importantly, I loved that you let me in enough in to your life to find out what you liked and have a chance to give it to you."
"But wouldn't you rather do them for someone, who will appreciate you and your actions instead of simply taking an advantage?"
"One day I will meet someone who I will make completely happy, who will appreciate me for me and what I do for them daily. Until then, there's you."
"You make me sound like a case of a sad middle-aged non-committed male, who doesn't know what he wants out of life and therefore can't make a single concrete decision that will affect his future permanently."
"Well, isn't that the case? I am just infatuated; can't help to want to do everything for you. And when you leave me for the other woman, I will feel like I lost a piece of myself. A piece of my life and it will take time to heal. And I will learn from this experience, but it doesn't mean I will completely get over it, ever. I can unblock everything from my mind, except for you. Because my world revolved around you, Nick. You were the axis that kept me spinning. And when you leave, my life will stop, temporarily, at least, until I can spin again, slower and UN-surer of myself. I won't be able to sleep in my own bed, probably the couch and think of nothing but you. And maybe one day you will give me a call, and we can get together for old times sake. Drink a little wine, listen to some music, and maybe even make love. I would let you use me and leave me in the morning like I was nothing to you and meant nothing. To say your goodbye's at the doorstep and how the night we spent together didn't mean anything to you and jump in to a waiting taxicab and speed away; forever or until the next call."
A small town girl with high standards of herself, hurt real bad and starting to feel like her life is completely falling apart. What's left but to move back home? You could see her wanting to be where there were no responsibilities. Going to talk to someone or something for a little while; while not having any idea what to do with herself. Resorting to things she thought she left behind. A case or two of alcohol poisoning, while pretending not to notice how her parents are staring at her. All humans have weaknesses and vices but they won't make you forget that you are a failure if you feel like one.
She was being selfish just now, not realizing she has things some people could only dream of. For the first time she has her life together ,she doesn't need to hide behind fake smiles and burying her problems inside herself.
You didn't know how to show her she doesn't need to lay on the couch all day and sleep the sound sleep of the ambition-less at night. That she knows where to begin, it's where she left off; that she knows what the smallest piece still is and she hasn't lost track of everything she ever wanted to be. She isn't nothing; she does matter and there are people that do care about her. But all you could do was change the subject.
"Why do you think there's another woman?"
She retrieved an already poured liqueur enclosed in expensive quartz crystalline from the mantel shelf above the fireplace. As her thumb wiped traces of a maroon lipstick imprinted on the glass, you withered like a wilting plant uprooted from the flower pot.
With her perched glasses, she held an appearance of a librarian, a linguist with emotional leverage about to teach you a very vital lesson and you were already late for class with a violently queasy stomach.
"What are you scared of Nick? Is it loosing control and allowing someone incredibly beautiful inside and outside into your life? Someone who could possibly be the worst and the best thing that ever happened to you? Having someone to call you theirs, and you yours, so why wouldn't you let them in?"
"Because wanting keeps us alive, if we are content we are dead."
"But why keep chasing? If you found someone you loved so much and you knew she loved you back, why would you go to someone else? Are you really that afraid of being happy?"
"You are assuming I love, or have the capability to."
"I think you'd do anything in the world for the right girl. Even fall in love"
"How do you know you are the right one?"
" I never said I was Nick, I know I am not. But I want to at least leave you with a different perspective on love. Cause it has a lot of different meanings and people often use the wrong one."
"At one point we all wanted The One, whom we would let in to our heart and soul. Who doesn't want affection? Holding someone in your arms until they fall asleep, knowing you are there to protect them. Feeling personal satisfaction from doing those small things like complimenting her, opening doors for her and kissing her hand, saying her name a little more than usual, giving her the most gentle kiss and whispering in her ear that everything is going to be just fine even if its not. You lie out of love, because you are in love and don't even know the difference. I wanted all this and so much more at one point, and then I didn't. Life disappointed me, took me for a one way ride to nowhere, leaving me with empty pockets, a long walk back home and a hole in my soul that no thread could patch or sew."
"Sometimes I wish I could be in a place, a secluded out of the way emotional hideout, from all the terrible things that are going on in my life. But I can't. Life has disappointed me as well, taken me on a one way ride to nowhere, left me with empty pockets, a long walk back home, but for some unknown reason, there's never a hole in my soul. Things always seem to go wrong for me and I wonder if it's worth it sometimes, but I was born to love, since I at one point was a product of that very emotion or at least some sort of extension of it. So I can't really escape it, as hard as I sometimes try, so I will keep going until I can't no more, but by then hopefully I would already have found him."
Everything was being said now. It was no longer the short, weirdly structured and abruptly ending sentences in the three dots, leaving their further continuity wide open to the listener's personal interpretation. It was time to tie up the loose ends.
You were both in the mood now. You felt like you didn't have to hide behind personal vices. And she didn't have to repress her anger and burn it off, running through the park with sandbox happy playing children, hundred dollars an hour charging dog walkers, and joyful life celebrating couples holding hands. The mood was set. She always wanted to talk to you when you didn't want to talk to her and vice versa. Now there were no excuses, or rather no need for them.
You thought about your parents, how about that for an oddity? At this very moment you felt like it all came down to one thing. Respect, the type that has the prefix 'self' before it and the type you show to your family. With having it, you have a drive, and you strive in life to do something in-part for yourself and in-part for your blood.
Maybe she didn't make you realize what true love is all about, but what she did is she showed you the wrong of your current ways. How achieving something in the beginning and corrupting it in the end, equals to a personal failure, and this not only reflects badly on you, but also on your parents dreams. Dreams they dreamt that were not their own. They loved you enough, to dream your dreams.
And your dreams now days, often frightening dreams haunt you, ones that if typed, have the capacity to burn the trustworthy jet black ribbon of your typewriter, if you choose to record them and analyze later on with your psychiatrist or publisher.
You feel like your veins were punctured with a syringe, forcing anaesthesia in your blood stream, causing a vivid expulsion of strangely morbid and memorable fantasy trips.
Death like a venomous slithering loathsome lizard often suffocates you and strips you of your birth given right to live.
You always find yourself attending your own funeral. Sometimes,inhibiting your stiff rigor mortis body as it descends in to a grave in an overly expensive coffin curved from some polished wood dressed in your best evening tuxedo. And sometimes your existential spirit leaves your own body and fuses itself with one of the mourning attendees.
Even with these subtle differences in the middle of the pretext, the outcome is always the same, you died and you aren't coming back.
This happens when you take elements of reality and twist them into a mirage of disbelief, you relive each time you dim the lights in your work study.
You persuade yourself it doesn't have to do with the fact you sold out, the fact you been in the industry for too long for the wrong reasons, and this fragmented illumination isn't of guilt pursuing your conscience.
Once upon a time, you were an extremist whose cause was the socialistic instability within the arts world. Stating those reasons remained the same would be a lie. One of those funny lies of a blunderer, those small innocent ones that escalate until you get trapped within them.
Distinctly realizing the cause of your procrastination, the current situation seems seriously beautifully depressing because you clearly aren't ready to be with her at this very moment.
But you hopped she knew how truly beautiful she is, and how she speaks to you, like no one else has spoken before. You never thought you could find what you needed most in a stranger. One, whose given you, no false hopes or promises, just the truth and that alone is worth more than anything anyone else has ever given you.
She knows you better than anyone else. She is the one you can always turn to when it's a struggle to tell someone your feelings. You never truly looked anyone in the face for fear of them seeing everything that was wrong with you. But you looked in to hers, stared in to her eyes. And you knew, there was nothing wrong with you.
There's so many things you want to tell her but you can't seem to formulate a proper sentence. You cannot burden her with giving you your happiness, because it's something you give yourself, but you can thank her from the bottom of your heart for pointing you in the right direction.