“Are you sleeping?” I ask carefully.
Silence, crawl, as best we can, within ourselves. This bed is the bottleneck we cannot avoid. Escape is only possible in sleep, even if you only do so. So we lie, night after night, in the same bed, if possible at the very edge, not to betray us, to escape, to be addressed, to touch. During the day it is easy, if you try a bit, but at night, in the same bed, there is only this one possibility. Our words, our gestures, our actions, even our mere presence, a single reproach, provoking without saying a word. We know what the other wants to say, even before he pronounces it. Sometimes, we get into it. Come on, tell me what you have to reproach me again. Like a boxer waiting for the next punch. We are reproach and personified disappointment. It was very different. Can you remember the joy and happiness and radiance that you were able to conjure in my eyes?
“You’ve grown old and dull and haggard,” you say.
That’s probably true. The wrinkles have become more and the laughter has disappeared. The mind is tired and sluggish and the understanding has gone. The body is limp and swollen and the resilience passed. Time has left its mark on us, but above all in us. What did not we do for each other, expecting nothing but a smile, a hug? With time and with the requirements, it was deleted, little by little, what was not necessary, and then the first thing was to get along with each other. Too tired, too drained, too worn. You understand it. Later, everything will be different. Yes, it changed. As first with each other, then side by side and last against each other. But cannot it be different? Is it really that impossible to just pick up where we started, to forgive ourselves, to forget each other, and to build a bridge from the stones we put in our way?
“You cannot just wipe out time and pretend it’s not been done, cannot just wipe out the wounds and the words that sat like knife cuts,” you say thoughtfully.
“And if we just try it, just try again if I take your hand …”
“… as we did then, and we say hello again, just like that, without prejudice and without ulterior motives …”
“… and we discover something in ourselves that we did not know was there, discover together …”
“… let us in on the vastness of the night and on each other, familiar, and yet inspired by the desire to recognize each other …”
“… without a thought of what the next day demands of us, just being there …”
“… for each other, to tell us without holding anything back …”
“… and maybe we will find it again, the radiance and the joy and the happiness.”