She was an angel. She had to be. Because she treaded by my side, in her suede moccasins, with such gentle awareness to cause the least amount of damage in her world, I thought: What have we got here?
Beauty and oddity did not escape her attention, but neither earned any judgement, on her part. There was something very ancient about her physique: She could’ve been a descendant of Emily Dickinson or an anonymous lover on a canvas of Modigliani or Cezanne: A brown girl with either melancholy or innocence (I couldn’t tell) powdering her skin with luminosity. And every time, her humor took me by surprise; because she seemed so in love with truth, I didn’t think her capable of irony. Or loss.
If ever I witness such an old soul, on the last round of its reincarnation, I drop all of my mundane nonsense. And it’s surprisingly easy, every time: Because those types make time lose its relevance.
“I gotta, I gotta” — doesn’t exist in their company.
Instead, it becomes:
“I am. I am.”
And if I hang with those souls for long enough, I am soon granted an awe — at my own ability to slide through moments of time as if body-surfing: I certainly know that there is a greater force behind it all, behind ME — stronger, older, much more relevant! — and that the only thing that I can do is: Take it in, and ride it out.
Because the longer I live and the more I lose, my angels, the more accepting I become of the utter chaos of living. Sure, there are certain guarantees in my established routines and standards of living; and each day, they give me points of reference, in time. Because I, too, am often guilty of “I gotta, I gotta”.
Instead of: “I am. I am.”
But, oh, how well I know that if I were to pack-up my apartment, cancel my phone, get rid of my debt; cut all ties and torch all the bridges; if I were to walk out of this chaotic town without a single farewell — what would remain of me is mere memories by those whom I’ve accidentally happened to love. But then, even those would eventually expire. (I’ve seen it happen before, with lovers who’ve moved on, out of guilt or entitlement.) I would be no more than a fading memory.
But the angel of the other day begs to differ. It’s not her fault — but her very mission — to tell me that I have meant more than that; that even in the chaos of living, however organized, each action matters. Each action, each person has consequences. She herself needn’t worry about karma any more: Her goodness is beyond all that shit. But for the rest of us, karma begs to differ. And it begs to better.
And so I was surprised the other day when she said, while staring her dusty moccasins:
“I can only meet him halfway, this time. Otherwise, I’ll lose myself.”
She’s been telling me the story of her love, on the nth round of its reincarnation. For years, she had loved this man, going out on a limb with her goodness, every single time. She had been a friend to him, treading gently by his side, through every selfish tragedy and moment of self-doubt. And when the rest of humanity seemed to forget his relevance, she would be the only one to remember him: to make him matter. But then: He’d dismiss her again.
Recently, he’d come back around, asking for her time and friendship. BUT ON WHAT TERMS?! He needed a friend, he said. He needed — her: For she was the only one who really loved him, who “understood him” all along.
What a waste, I thought. What a waste: of youth, and goodness; and of love! What selfish audacity, I thought, on behalf of that regular mortal. What sense of entitlement!..
But then: I remembered my own recently expired affair. It had been my lover’s idea to end us. Not the first time. I’d survived many before him. I was going to be alright. But before I became aware of my mourning, I found myself in the midst of waiting. Waiting for change: A change of heart, a change of his mind. A change of man. And in the mean time, the man would check back on me: for some assurances that I still loved him, that I was still on standby, no matter the distance he’d imposed between us.
Not the first time. I had done that with others: beholding for them, for years; forgiving them fully at every dismissal, then accepting them unconditionally at every reunion. I would continue living my life, treading it carefully, while causing the least amount of damage, in my world. But if an ex couldn’t bear the chaos of his living, he was always welcomed back.
Suddenly, I felt infuriated, for the sake of my kind: Women with forgiveness and goodness enough to make-up for our men’s lack. Women with uncompromisable karma, so rare, it makes us irreplaceable. Old souls who can always change a man, and sometimes, his mind. Angels who practice unconditional love and forgiveness to make time irrelevant, but lives — matter:
Isn’t time for each angel to claim her time back? Surely, there must be better things and worthier causes to give that time to! Surely, all this waiting around was contradicting the very nature of our being: holding us back from living our own existences — on the last round of reincarnation — in the moment, while making us behold for the past. Surely, this had to end!
That evening, it ended for me, my angels. I finally accepted my lover’s decision to depart. I got dismissed. I cut all ties and torched all the bridges. And I left, treading carefully and causing the least amount of damage — to myself — and settled on being a mere memory, but not a returning one.