Sunday, 4 March 2012

These Days

(These Days: Nico)

He fell in love with every woman that he saw, but it was not the women he loved, just the idea of them. He loved them because they remained an open question, not something pinned down by routines of leaving things out or putting things away and turns to do things and arguments and that moment when you start to notice other people again.

So he fell in love with them all, one by one or several at a time. Sometimes he would steal a casual glance across the train carriage, or just before they passed one another on the pavement, and eyes would meet, the same quick glance even quicker averted. On his good days he thought that it was because they had seen something in him, but on his bad days, which were much more often, he thought that they were probably just wondering who that pervert was who was staring at them, and whether he would follow them, and if he did how quickly they could get help.

Even on a good day, his optimism only lasted until he caught sight of his reflection in a window, and then the thoughts of ifs and maybes and possibly perhaps all melted like snowflakes on a warm car and it was back to a bad day again, and crossing the road so that they wouldn't think that he was following them.

Sometimes he wondered if he was being too harsh on himself. He looked back at photos of when he was younger, and the girls on his arm dressed up for parties, cuddling into him grinning on the deck of a cross-channel ferry, lying in the snow making angel shapes, they were all a good catch by any standards. Way above his league, but it happened all the same even if he didn't know quite how. Most of them had come to him, made their moves when they tired of waiting for him to move first.  He must have had something then, even when the flattery of the drink and the drugs were taken into consideration. He'd be buoyed by these memories, briefly, and then would crash down again into dull despair when he stood and stared at himself in the mirror and knew that they belonged to another time.

Whatever it was, it was gone.

He looked different now, older and tired, but that wasn't it because he hadn't been what you could call handsome even when he was young and luckier in love. No, he decided. It was nothing to do with looks. Inside him, a spark had gone out.  He did not know when, because he had not noticed its passing, but it was gone and that was all that mattered. He told himself that he should accept this and get on with his life, but as with most things he ignored himself, so every day he fell in love again with Schrodinger's women. With each new face there was the chance of something happening, and as long as he didn't try too hard to find out, he could keep believing that.

1 comment:

  1. Postscript: I like this version of the song by Glenn Campbell - thanks to @mrmatt55 on twitter for that, and for sending me his article on the song.

    Can't believe Jackson Browne was only 16 when he wrote it. It sounds like the song of someone looking back.