Across the street from your apartment building, you witness through a window, a woman in an apartment. She seems to be in the kitchen, perhaps preparing a meal, you think to yourself. Let me tell you her story.
The woman is crying by the stove, ladle still in hand. The transition from cooking to crying went too fast for her hand to realize it was supposed to let go of what it held onto. Sweet aromas of meat, vegetables and spices, come together in perfect harmony, fill the air around her, but she does not feel the hunger anymore.
Her long hair, the color of wheat in July, covers her shoulders. Shoulders, hair and tears, all slide downwards, towards the floor. It is an ever so small shift in position and height, but for her the weight is unbearable and it is all she can do, to keep her body upright, under the pressure that lies on her shoulders, like a blanket made of led. As if all the cells of her upper body are affected by the same sudden gravity, forcing them down.
The words that have made her cry, are not words that have ever made other people cry, she finds herself thinking. “Can I have a taste? Just to see..maybe it needs more salt..”, the man had said.
As the man sees the tears, he puts on
a look a mask of surprise, and perhaps a faint shade of irritation, on his otherwise perfectly sculpted face. A face that poets would do battle for, to win the privilege of describing it in words. But a face she cannot describe, even though it is forever etched into her heart. In words, she could only say his eyes are strangely colorless, though they can sometimes show a hint of the green of the sea in March, or the grey of the skies in November.
Now he asks: “Why are you crying“? Surely these words about preparing a meal mean no harm, or to make a person cry, he insists, an underlying streak of impatience showing in his voice.
It is not the words, she wants to scream. It’s that they’re showing her what isn’t there. She sees a glass in his hand and wants to take it from him and throw it on the floor; teach him the meaning of shattered. She is always more brave and furious in her thoughts. Inside her mind she can be the queen who has been betrayed and sends out an army to ensure justice is done in her name. That the traitor is informed of his crimes and then made to atone for his sins. Pay with remorse, in the dungeon she confines him to, for a time. She is not this queen, but a lost soul who tried to call out for his, in the vast and empty wilderness he has left her in.
It is not the words, she mumbles, through the unworthy sobs she’s grown to hate. She explains to him about the wilderness, paints him a picture with words. Of how very deserted and lost her soul is, since it responded to him calling out for her, from the tundra.
He does not want to see the image she is painting, of their world. She waves her paintbrush dipped in word-colors, more frantically. She splashes the white kitchen where they stand, in all the colors of the last few weeks; How he left her at the bottom of the ocean and how the loneliness there is midnight blue… How he did not see her, and how charcoal black her invisibility became. How he had unleashed the emerald beast of jealousy and how it was now hunting her mercilessly. She drew a picture of herself stretching out her hand to him, with offerings in shades of peach and gold. But at her fingertips there was no hand to meet hers, only a fog of indifference; she painted it a blurred light grey for him to see.
Seeing his posture and expression; that of a scientist detached from his test subject, she quietly wondered if another man would have gently grabbed hold of her brush and laid it down, and drawn her into an embrace to show her his true heart; oxblood red. And let their colors flow and blend.
She would never know, she thought. She only knew this moment, stretching out into infinity. A moment in which she was frozen and would forever remain the loneliest woman, in all of the billion kitchens, in all the world. Slowly she put the
brush ladle down, retreated into her self, and into another room. She could no longer stand to look upon that perfect face, against which her words held no power, could not soar, but fell flat back onto the ground. Little birds, breaking their wings against a glass wall.
A beautiful song: Here