Fisherman in Grey Part IV?

“Thanks for taking the time to come with me, by the way,” she says. “I’ve been planning to go back since I got this new Kodak, and company’s always nice.”
“Not a problem. I didn’t have anything scheduled today anyway.”
Looking to me, she smiles cheerfully.

Amber and I are on a short train journey away to the art gallery that we’d first met at. It was a particularly dear location to Amber because it’s where a 71-year-old portrait of her great-grandfather was kept. He was a fairly renowned Dutch fisherman and sailor before the Second World War.

It’s almost two in the afternoon. The sun’s moderate flare is coupled with a gentle breeze. Amber withdraws the Kodak camera from its small pouch slung around her neck and turns it on.
“Check some of these out, if you like,” she says, edging the camera at me. I begin looking through the photos she had taken. Photos of various things, in various locations. Such striking quality.
“The angles,” I say with my eyes still fixed at the Kodak, “…there are some very interesting and unexpected angles in a lot of these.” With notable elation in her tone, she responds,
“You think so? It makes me glad that you said that because angles are my thing. That’s what I put a lot of focus into. Angles are where my imagination runs wild when it comes to photography. I tend to capture very ordinary things or sceneries, but the angles, the point of view, those are aspects which carry the most contemplation and regard for me. Any amateur photographer will tell how crucial it is to consider angles, but to me, point of view is… where I have fun with photography. I try to be offbeat and experimental with angles. It’s often risky, but, hey. It’s not so much like a technical thing for me. It’s more like – Okay, let me toy around with some angles until I find the one which tells the untold or the hidden or unnoticed story of this photo. Do you know what I mean? Photographers are very powerful in that, through their camera perspective alone can you view a scene they’ve shot. However they decided to take the photo, whichever approach or angle they use, sets the parameters of how the scene can be viewed. A photo will tell a story. So I try to capture unique perspectives which will subsequently tell a unique story to what another perspective might give you. At least I try to.

“Don’t get me wrong, though, angles are my biggest consideration when it comes to free photography. But when I’m working on conceptual pieces or something like that, angles still matter, of course, but I have a more levelled consideration of other elements of photography. Like what I’m shooting, exposure, lighting, composition, depth of field, you know. I become equally as scrupulous with those aspects when I’m building something conceptual as I do with my angles when I’m doing free photography.”

*

Before we head to the gallery, we decide upon getting a bite to eat beforehand. Once inside, Amber leads the way for the most part with me stringing closely behind, catching a gape at pieces that steal my attention. With her Kodak camera, she takes dozens of photos. Not long after we came in, she asked me to capture her beside the portrait of her great-grandfather. She stood straight, smiling at the camera with her arms in front of her.

“I noticed you’ve got your hair up today,” I say to her randomly at one point. “I don’t recall seeing you with it up since we’ve met.” She smiles sheepishly.
“Yeah, I don’t really like to have it up.” As she says this she brushes a couple strands of hair behind her left ear. She has two orbital piercings in that ear.
“Why’s that?” I question whilst examining her face in slight detail.
“My ears. I look like an elf.” she says with a laugh. I laugh also, and tell her,
“Come on, no you don’t. They’re just ears. They come in various sizes. Yours aren’t even big. You look good with your hair up.”
You think so? she smiles, and I nod before turning to the smallish sculpting of a seal beside us, of which Amber captures with her camera.

**
Thank you for reading this piece. I’m rather unsure about it, to be honest. It’s a continuation of a piece I had divided into three blog posts two years ago, which happens to still be my favourite piece of writing I’ve done since – largely because the piece wrote itself, and it is my most ‘thorough’ work yet. I haven’t touched up the other blog posts but if you want some background to this piece, I’ll leave the links below.

https://mmwiinga.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/fisherman-in-grey-part-i/

https://mmwiinga.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/fisherman-in-grey-part-ii/

https://mmwiinga.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/fisherman-in-grey-part-iii/

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The Killer

imagesShe climbed out of the bed in an instant, and lit a cigarette. That’s when I knew I had struck a nerve. Brutally. I watched her stand by the window where the gleaming moon lit up one side of her face.

I watched how she tilted her head back every now and then, and would dab the corner of her eye with her ring finger whenever she felt a tear seeping out. She sniffed, and cleared her throat as if she were about to utter something. But nothing came. Her quivering lips juxtaposed with the still, inanimate expression that was glued to her face.

My mind couldn’t reason a logical thing to say to her. Or if there was anything to say. So I let the oppressive silence squash us both. It was an unpleasant scene to watch, and yet at the same time, be a part of.

But it happens sometimes. You’re either one person or the other in scenarios like this; either you’re the person crumbling, trying to clasp yourself together as you struggle to digest how you let someone you love and trust hurt you. Someone you never in a million years would have thought would, or even was capable of doing so.

Your fingertips feel static. Your heart pounds your chest so hard your whole torso quakes. A mere moment of sanity and clarity appears to be so out of reach. You remain immobilised and defeated by a hollow but yet desperate emotion. You feel something once flamboyant turn to a cruel grey and wither inside you. 

Or, on the other hand, you’re the causer of it all. And the audience. And The Killer. 

Like A Stream

mountain_stream

I woke up for no particular reason that morning. At dawn to be more precise. My whole apartment was wrapped in silence, and a thick, stale air lingered. 

I cracked open the windows to a cool august breeze that infiltrated my humid bedroom, then downed the remains of a now warm glass of whiskey which rested on my bedside table. It was a Saturday. At this point I’d usually light up and smoke. And at this point I’d usually wake her up with a cold glass of water and a kiss on her forehead.

But this time was different. I did no such thing. I’d decided to quit smoking two weeks earlier, and she was no longer here. She’d gone. And was never to return.

I looked eagerly at the side of the bed where she used to lay. It was void and cold. It’s like everything in the Universe knew something belonged there. But she was no longer that thing. It was an unsettling sight to bear.

I was afraid for some weird reason. A very specific and unorthodox dimension of afraid. Perhaps afraid is the wrong word altogether. But it was an exceedingly disconcerting hunch.

Unlike all my other partners, she was special. Special how? Special like an unchanged landscape. Special like some unexplored cavern. Special like a young, beautiful virgin. And that’s what unsettled me.

It’s strange, I know.

It all began last summer. We’d met at a function a mutual friend had organised. Nothing fancy, just a little drink-up.

The friend who’d organised the event introduced us to each other. The two of us got to talking for an hour or two. Slurred speech. Boisterous laughter. Mislaid glaring into one another’s eyes. 

She grabbed my hand and told me to come. I smiled my way through clumps of drunken strangers as she excused our way to the door. We found ourselves outside alone. The cool summer night air was still, and loud hip-hop songs boomed in the background. Everything was as distant as the stars above us. 

I pulled out two cigarettes. I don’t usually smoke, she said. But we both smoked in a silence that descended daintily.  

I remember waking up the next morning with a throbbing headache and thinking about her. Her smile, the warm feel of her long, slender fingers. I couldn’t remember much of our intoxicated verbiage, though, but I did remember exchanging numbers. She was fun and pretty, I told myself. I’d definitely like to see her again.

I imagined love being a deep, expansive ocean, and I was a small boy on the shore gently nearing towards it. Toeing the edge of the waters. Pondering whether or not to take a dive. I wasn’t quite in it, but I knew there was a sense of replenishing, quenching, somewhere in its depths. 

And this is how she was special. You see, all my ex-partners are back to the way I found them. Using the phrases they used to, dating the type of guys they used to, going to all the places they used to. When they were with me, I changed them.

Yes, I changed them. Like a bendy ruler; you can bend it, twist it, fold it, but it always forms back to a straight(ish) ruler. And that’s how all my ex-partners are. 

But she was different. Special. She didn’t need me to shape her. She was formless. She was like a stream running down a mountain; whatever it picks up along the way, it picks up. Whatever it ditches along the way, it ditches. But it still keeps going.

She was whatever she wanted to be. Sometimes I feel like this aspect of ‘special’ to her should have lessened my desire for her. But it didn’t. It gave me a different sensation I can’t quite put into words. 

But when she left, all I became was afraid. Afraid at the fact that she could be doing anything, with anyone – something and somewhere new, with someone new, unlike my other partners. I was afraid at the fact that she’d trickled so far from reach.

Free and ecstatic. Like a stream.

Chimerical Lucidity

Damn.

I’m feeling lonely. Really lonely. 

I need you here. I need someone. I want to feel you. I want to connect. Please. I may break down.

Do you want to know how I feel?…

***

He’s on that road. That very familiar road. 

I step towards the door. Hesitantly I walk. No one is home. The house is asleep. I stop for a moment. Reaching into my jacket pocket I take out a small paper. 
It reads, Hey. I’ll keep this brief. I need you back, basically. I can’t get you out of my mind. I know this all probably means nothing to you now. But please. Hear me out. I can’t function. I know, I was selfish. I was crazy, and probably still am. It’s been a year. I need to see you. I need to hear your voice. It’s been a year and I still can’t erase you from remembrance. Please, hear me out. 

I’ve always told myself that I don’t need anyone. That I don’t hold on to things. Once it’s done, it’s done. I would say once you’re gone I won’t want nor need you back. But on my loneliest nights, on my coldest nights, my mind can’t help but quest for your name, your touch, your face, somewhere in the depths of my mind.

My crazy mind. 

It’s not addiction. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s loneliness though.

I slip the note through the letterbox, and at that moment the headlights of a car beam from my right. Is it her?

Are you there?

It’s dark. The bitterness of the winter night deluges my entire body. 

The note is irreversibly through the letterbox. I can’t do anything about it at this point. All I can do is walk away. Flickers of regret penetrate my conscious. But what could I do about it now? What’s done is done. 

I amble away sorrily from the door. I see the silhouette of a female in front of the car walking towards me. 

It’s her. I knew it was her. Who else could it have been. I was expecting her. That’s why I came here. That’s why I’m here now.

She approaches me without a word. She stands before me. I simply stare. Silently I stare. 

“You look beautiful.” my vocal chords eventually manage to enunciate. She says nothing, but smiles sheepishly. Not at what I’d said. She was smirking enthusiastically before she’d even seen me. I’m not sure she even heard me. 

I continue standing there for some 20 seconds. Neither of us say anything. She eventually turns back to the still beaming headlights and signals with her index finger ‘Hold on, one second.’

She’s wearing a crimson red dress which parades down to her shins. Her hair rests complacently. Two streaks on each shoulder, the rest down her back. She looks elegant. She looks amazing. Her shimmering bright blue eyes stare past me.
Alluringly. Apathetically. She isn’t looking at me. Her mind is elsewhere.  

A few more seconds pass. Nothing is said. In an act of hopelessness, I slowly stroll away, hands dug in pockets. 

“Wait.”

I turn around.

“Hold on.”

She rushes into her house. 3 or so minutes pass but she doesn’t come back. I decide to retreat back to my home.

And then… Well, I can’t remember how it all happened, but…

*

Next thing I know, she was there. I was there. On my bedroom floor. Her legs are crossed. We’d just finished a lengthy conversation about nothing in particular.

I think I exist now. When those blue eyes peer at my direction, I feel them rest upon mine. I feel the warmth her soul exerts.

We get close. Her hand on my shoulder. I look down. My face is sad. My soul is sad. I know the deal. She’s happy with a new partner. I don’t know why she’s here. I don’t know why. She gets closer.

I wish. I hope. And I wish some more. 

I don’t know what I’m doing, or why. My left hand pilgrimages towards her pale, gentle face. I recognise the touch. The feel of her skin. My hand, irrespective of consciousness, saunters down her neck and pulls her head close.

One thing leads to another. Our hands and lips and tongues disobediently join and explore and fondle across each other’s bodies. Another thing leads to even yet another. 

I love her with every fibre of compassion my soul possesses. I grope her. I caress, I feel her. We connect. Euphorically. Senselessly, tenderly. We connect. Our bodies and souls entwine.

From above and within her, I whisper. Softly. Something unclear. Something incomplete. 

She tells me she loves me. 

A Howl’s Moving Castle theme ceremonially meanders into my head. “Carrying You”, I believe it’s called.

Like a river. We make love. We make song. We make poetry. Every thrust, every note, every line oozes with an electrifying, ecstatic affection.

The song booms in my head relentlessly.

I stop for a moment. I look into her exquisite eyes. I watch her below me. I try to tell her I love her. I need her. 

 

I wake up. The dull reality marches itself back into its rightful state of actuality. She’s no longer here. She was never here. 

The sheets are cold. My numb heart heaves a bitter sigh. 

The harsh but aqueous, chimerical lucidity of a dream.