My Personal Rhapsody: Plans for the Past
My Personal Rhapsody is an intimate voyage to different galaxies representing lives of people who dared to step beyond their personal boundaries. By hearing their stories I do not aim to engage in a formal interview. What I look for is a free exchange between two people without pre-prepared questions. Listening to people’s stories and feeling them inspires me to rewrite their story in a magical, surrealist manner. I believe that each talk or discussion with another person is a two way communication, even if one of the persons chooses to remain silent. The reader is invited to see the story as a totality – energy shared by people exchanging words, motion, touch, breath, heartbeat.
illustrations by GODA PELE
I sat on the metal stairs by the stage after the concert, waiting for him to gather his guitar. I can see a rosy blue evening sky on the horizon, metropolitan city symbols in the background, and feel warm wind whispering so softly through my ears. Seeing him coming towards me made my skin shiver. His slow steps were calm, confident and powerful, and at the same time it confused me much as I was burning with anticipation, wished to rush towards him, hug and squeeze him and never let him go. When he approached me softly, I saw half of his face covered by a large elegant hat. I tilted his hat upwards and kissed with hesitation a corner of his violet lips, leaving a make-up stain on the left corner of mine. We both looked at each other confidently for a moment as if we wished to convey confidence in each other’s future, in our future. I took him by his hand and we sat on the metal stairs. It was a moment of true love, being next to him, touching his warm fingers, feeling love passing through our veins and hands and flowing through our bodies interchangeably like we were one. If I knew what will come out of him a few minutes later, I would not have experienced true love in my life. Suddenly, he presses my hand much stronger, and I instantly feel he wants to tell me something of utmost importance. “This was my last concert. My last thoughts put into words. They have diagnosed cancer. The treatment starts in a few weeks, and I will be tied to the hospital for quite some time. Please, let’s not make a big deal out of this, I’d like to keep it a secret and avoid all these victimizing comments from people, you know...” As he continued talking, I slowly started to drift off, immerse in my own little world that suddenly started to crumble, break into pieces, which were then blown away into the void each time he mentioned the word cancer.
With each day passing, I saw once strong and powerful weakened. Plans for future concerts turned into photo albums of his concerts in the past. His ever weakening fingers played rarely the guitar until he stopped completely. I stood there, watching him giving up, having no clue how to embrace the inevitable, and pondering on why life has brought the end so very early. Is it too early? When is the right time to die? Do we ever fulfill our needs and accomplishments to be ready to part friends and ourselves? Am I ready after all? What is my body? Is it part of me or is it a separate entity carrying a sum of organs? What is consciousness? Does it disappear completely or does it evaporate and turn into something else, just like ocean water turns into clouds, which then are left to travel the world on their own? Just days ago it seems we discussed our plans, philosophy, poetry, the world: to ask the right questions was a great skill, proof of wisdom and critical thinking. Now, these questions are equally drowning us down into the depths of mind from which there is no turning back. I feel how he takes me by the hand and asks me to follow into the woods of intellectual contemplation about the life and being. And I feel, I am too small to provide him with such wisdom.
It’s a late afternoon. I can see snowflakes outside falling like small angels and touching the ground. I look through the window and see his reflection. Tired, pale, in bed and sleeping softly. I can barely hear his breathing...
This was the very last winter I made a wish to let him go.