There are some people whom I can’t be myself around, but make me keep thinking of ways as of how we could get closer. There are moments when there are good songs playing on the radio and there is wind in my hair and I have company, listening to me, adoring my presence and we have time, we are someplace I have never been before, and yet this doesn’t seem like how I heard the stories and saw the movies. I am different, and it should delight my younger self, but instead I pretend to be looking elsewhere when they laugh at something only they understand, instead I stay silent when opinions I find interesting are exchanged, instead I try to subtly disguise my discomfort as nonchalance. But they lure me in. With what they’ve found in each other. There exist strangers so ready to include me in their exclusive midst and all I can wonder about is whether or not it is considered pretentious to want to be with the sort that would stay away from me a year ago.
An empty bottle of perfume reminds me of faces, maps, a foreign language, strangers on the street saying bonjour, a dog on the porch, a packet of soap never opened, pieces of paper, a collection of train tickets kept in a secret drawer, a seven year old girl that used to be me. When we went to visit a Fragonard factory, they gave us three pieces of paper with different scents after showing us how flowers were taken underneath giant rollers to gather a set of oils and mixed together to make magic potions, stored in delightful small bottles. The tickets of the journey are long lost, and I dare not open this little bottle to let escape the last whiff of living memories left.
Keep little things safe.
This one is the scent emilie but my favourite was belle de nuit. I think it was because of the name which means beauty of the night, but I can’t say anymore. I forgot how it smelled.
Smiles are important. Mostly, they don’t mean anything. Everybody smiles at you when they want something done, a peace treaty, an exchange of unfamiliar politeness, a group photo. It’s an unspoken agreement between human bodies to ignore everything that is hurled down at their tiny ungrateful brains when it’s 2 am and strays are howling, their parents are asleep, their pillows are drenched, and they are curling their fists around helpless bed sheets. It’s an agreement they may or may not spend hours obsessing over. Sometimes, it’s easy, flashing the owner of your favorite bookstore a shy grin. Sometimes, it’s difficult, convincing a friend that it’s okay for her to love the same person you did. Sometimes, it’s unnecessary, covering your mouth as your youngest cousins play tag at your grandmother’s funeral. Sometimes, it’s stolen, a small hesitant decision returned with a cool, unseeing face. Sometimes, it’s questionable, acknowledging a person passing you on the street whom you knew well once upon a time. Sometimes, it’s heartless, pretending that everything is fine in front of someone who would give the world to know you better. Sometimes, they end up meaning something. Something that you’d be proud of tackling your own synthetic hell for. The prettiest thing about a smile is that it doesn’t matter until it’s tried.
We made promises in the places we never thought we’d have to repaint on another empty canvas