"I have the stupidest confession to make," I said. Because I knew. What it was like ~ that desire simply to be near. And then I told her.
I told her how I kept a board called "Faith and Stardust." Faith, because I clung to it so steadfastly. Stardust, because it had magic and special meaning: “You are my stardust,” he said once, telling me I was the magic the Universe had sprinkled in his path.
There I collected images from the place where he lives. Streetscenes and gardens, lookouts and landmarks. Watering holes and intersections, restos and museums. Bridges and summits and bookstores and record shops. Cafes, markets, alleyways, concert halls. Sunrises, sunsets, moonscapes, and stars. Places to play, places to hide, places to savour, places to share.
There I made plans. There I sowed seeds. There I believed. I wrote myself notes ~ made wishes, really ~ on each image: "Shoes off. Let's walk the water's edge"; "My sexiest dress. My highest heels. On your arm"; "Family outing"; "What's your favourite view? Show me."
It was how I felt close to him despite the gap of distance. It was how I spent time with him every day ~ breathed with him, moved through space and time with him, dwelled with him.
He didn't know it, but every day I walked beside him, there. While he was busy loving other women. While he was busy fucking other women. While he was busy living a life that had no room for me.
In the end I was nothing more than a woman in possession of heap of images. I had convinced myself I was manifesting something beautiful with them. But the life they represented never lived anywhere except in my own mind.
I looked down at them, my spent shoes. Day in and day out I had worn my soles down walking towards hope, and him. I had walked thousand of miles in them on the streets where he lives.
I had walked alone.
Soundtrack: The Decemberists, "Grace Cathedral Hill"
Gratitude to a friend, whose beautiful IG post (text follows) prompted the confession from me that expanded into this piece. "i often think of the quiet breath / you took / before telling me / you'd come to my town. / Just to walk the streets / where I live."