Today’s Recommendation: Bruch Romanze, Op. 85, for viola and orchestra
Their conversations were a pocketful of love songs and serenades that filled the night with sentiments of yearning. He spoke to her with his voice muffled under blankets that they have used to build a fort, softened under the sound of radio playing old country music, and she whispered to him back lovingly; they built bricks around their forts and only the flickering lamplight could intrude in their space. Their words embroidered the night, each minute and every hour colored with indecipherable codes of love that only they could decipher. Time was meaningless; clocks seemed to have paused their machinery as they shared their words, and the hands of the clock told their story captured in each second. They held their time in their words, and even Father Time himself could not have stopped them.
He sought for her whenever she swept the streets like the lost wanderer in a barren wasteland, and caught her as she fell into her own fits of troubled thoughts that engulfed her. She was somewhere far, sometimes, and he had to bring her back from her reveries like a child would catch his butterflies in the prairie. Yet he savored each moment, and thought time was worthwhile with her, even if it meant that he had to stand behind a step behind her, holding her as she fell into the hollow abyss of nothingness. They always had a presence of absence between them, and knowing that, they tried to fill up the emptiness with words, more words, and words to blow thoughts into each moment, so as time passed, they would keep each moments, imagining themselves as Arabian bandits with treasures in their hands.
When she wandered, lost in her thoughts, he spoke to her about the colors of the sunset- the wisp of oranges, the locks of soft lavender within cranberry reds. She would then look up to the falling sun, the golden pupil of a closing eye, and tell him she loved the sunset too. When the golden eye of the sun fell and the shades of melting blue and deep purple was blown into the sky, she would lift her arm and wrap her fingers around the moon, telling him that she would catch the moon for him, and he would laugh, again and again. His laughter would then mix with hers, and they would look at the same moon, a pearl in the vast sea of deep hues of blue, and feel each other’s warmth right beside them. The sunset to moon-watching was all they did, but the time melted in the moon they watched was what made it precious.
Some nights they were never together. She would break herself from the space they have created and lock herself in her own vault of dark secrets, spending the night alone in that small, confined vault, reminscing her misery and sorrow all over again. He somehow knew he could not pry the vault open, only trying would break the vault, and her. He waited by the cold, unfeeling vault all night, telling her his thoughts of love. He was never really sure if she could hear him from the deep bottomless pit of the vault, but he tried nevertheless. He spoke to her about the sparrow’s aubades and the nightfall’s afterthoughts, and she listened, even if she couldn’t hear him from the vault. His voice was muffled and soft, and his words reached her like lumps of unclear tune, but she closed her eyes and listened anyway, as if listening to the callings the ivories of the piano make.
Some deep nights when even the clouds have smudged the littlest traces of the moonlight, she would scream and curse for him to leave, her voice piercing through the night’s cavern of silence. And as he told her all the stories and tales of the history he knew of, he realised that they were standing precariously on the edge of the cliff, their toes touching the ends of the rock- one small move would pull them both into the blue hands of the sea, into depths of the unknown where lost, weary-hearted sailors would end up. The sea was the end, and he knew that she, left breathless from all the storms she had been through, would very willingly throw herself into the undending space of blue. The thought saddened him; so before she could, he let himself into the blue ripples of the sea, sinking down and below the singing seagulls and sobbing clams.
Father Time has gathered times and seasons, and the hands of the clock travelled as if they were catching up for the time they had missed. Some nights she recalled him in her dreams, standing on the cliff, waving to her as the summer’s breath brought him to the sea. Then she remembered that they sat on the summer’s end, whispering endlessly of the old tales. When she woke up she felt the coldness in the empty space of the bed, wondering if the bed had been that big. Days she spent by the sea were meaningless, waves that came crashing up the shimmering sand tickled her toes and her fingers swept through the cold waters but he would never know. She knew though, that he wouldn’t want her to follow him into the deep blues of the water. So she stayed on land. He was in the sea, and she was on land, touching the dead ground: only time was between them.