It’s a nice breezy night with Christmas lights adding a bit of life to the clockwork city. I hurried my way through the bustling crowd and crossed the roads with no regard for consequences. I’ve always known it’s irrational. But hey, to err is human, some say. I make my way to the local restaurant/pub and look around.
I sit myself beside a lovely lady by the bar. I offer to buy her a drink, Goldschläger, perhaps intuitively to sway the conversation towards a strong case for gold and showcase what would possibly be my uninteresting knowledge on monetary policy.
The shot is beautiful. Look closely and it’s like looking through a galaxy of stars because of the tiny specks and flakes of gold. Still, for some reason, not as beautiful as watching her giggle and squint her eyes at my random shenanigans.
I browse through the book she’s reading, Reflections On Photography. I open to a random page and read a paragraph. I was moved. The author poeticized photography. And tried, ever so patiently, to describe what it’s like, not just to see, but to experience photographs. I look at the back cover and noticed the author is French. How very predictable. His writings were very existentialist in nature.
I close the book and I’m reminded of Kierkegaard who’s notable for being the “father” of existentialism (not French though). I remember this favorite quotation of mine from Repetition (1843):
“One sticks one’s finger into the soil to tell by the smell in what land one is: I stick my finger in existence — it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How did I come here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a merchant of souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?”
I order another drink to rid myself of my existential dread. Why am I here? What is this fondness I am having for this other individual beside me? As Kierkegaard contemplated, what should be done and where are the instructions?
They have this whisky concotion they call The Godfather. I take a swig and shrug off the philosophical banter in my head.
We talk about a former lover I once had and she asks to see a photograph. “She’s not very photogenic,” I said unsurely. “You say that about all girls you like,” she says playfully.
And so I explain to her about how photographs only capture one layer of beauty and that girls I fall for almost always have many layers of beauty that no film or canvass could ever capture or convey. But music could, perhaps, I’ve always thought to myself. Perhaps there is a way I could orchestrate beauty. And I try, always:
This one’s for you. Tragic. Beautiful. Unrequited.