I caught you in the train the other day, did you notice me? Isn’t it funny how an ordinary, mediocre commute with a world full of strangers can suddenly feel so estranged, so serendipitous, all because of a single, familiar curved back and that gait of yours I used to know so well? Gait. That distinctive walk unique to each person, that becomes so telling of personality — a word I learned from you; I learned so many things from you.
Immediately Toronto felt too small, and the places we visited on that one winter we spent together suddenly became vivid – suddenly took form and collapsed into one another until this city became only the places we have been together – in the short time we spent together – oh what a tiny city Toronto became in that second, in that moment I realized it was you walking up the stairs in front of me.
Each step closer brought me back to the past we shared together. That time you sneaked away from our friends and smoked a cigarette in the cold, and I followed you, like a devout fan, like the fiercely loyal lover that showed too much, too fast. That empty wine glass squeezed in between the cushions of your couch, the one my back was pressed against, as you leaned in close, suffocating me with a kiss. That leather chair you swiveled in while writing, as you watched your late night shows. That blue blanket I wrapped myself in, forming an enclosed, tight space of comfort and familiarity, because I had the same blanket back at my place, because I thought it brought us closer together. Seemingly ordinary things that now hold so much meaning, markers of our relationship of our time together, which probably holds more meaning and significance than it ever did in yours.
I’ve written about you a thousand times. And to think that I all I ever wanted from you was to be your muse, the one you wrote about in metaphors and alliterations, the one you immortalized in poetry and prose — so that I wouldn’t have to live in the harsh reality of my own world, so that I could escape in the most romantic of ways, so that someone else could somehow write me out of existence.
Even if this quick reconnaissance of each other’s bodies didn’t mean much to you as it did to me, I’ll be brave for once and tell you this: this event spurred a string of decisions and choices that are beyond your control. You made your mark as I did mine, and whether or not you plan to bury this in denial or be the foundation for all the lovers you experience since, is for you, and only you, to decide.
I wonder if you will ever sit down on that chair of yours, and think about the nights we talked ‘till 4 in the morning, and realize we were both deluding ourselves into thinking we found the perfect means of escape within each other. I wonder if you will indeed leave this country and go back to your homeland, and continue writing about that blonde bombshell who won awards for her essay writing and so couldn’t spend time with you. I wonder if you will ever deny that you are the subject of this story, if someone managed to piece the clues together and find out it was you.
I wonder if you ever did feel sorry, or miserable when you walked away.
Not that it matters now.