It’s nearly halloween and it’s 9:47 on Saturday night. Everyone is so in love this evening.
Someone taps me on the shoulder as I am crossing the Flinders and Swanston Street intersection. It’s a man, I feel his strength, but I don’t turn around.
Passing a set of automatic doors I glance in for a second and there is a couple who might have missed each other for any number of moments, meeting again in this sharp yet somehow supple light.
Their embrace is surreal to witness. I feel like it is a private moment and I an intruder. I feel like I shouldn’t have paused for that second.
He held her face so tenderly in these huge, olive hands and brought her mouth to his.
They are smiling and their energies mesh. I see their auras intertwining. All their primary colours become secondary, then tertiary in this incredible metamorphosis.
I am jealous
I thought that maybe I had never been in love because my failed relationships were full of manipulation and alarmingly high heart rates but for all the wrong reasons. Fast out of nerves but not butterflies; tears but not of elation.
But I know love because I’ve fallen into that quicksilver and let it wholly envelop me, rebirth me veiled in silver. I inhaled the liquid right into my lungs and let it run through my veins. Pump life in sporadic palpitations and caress me from the inside out.
Perhaps I am just a stupid, young girl and not the intelligent woman I supposed I am but I may never know until it is too late.
They say romance is dead and I guess I decided it were so because I was missing it, brushed off the idea of being taken out to dinner and a film or laid amongst goose down and kissed longingly, gifted flowers or a book for no damn reason at all.
I dream of the fairy tale romance. Hand penned letters sealed with a kiss and signed:
I am ever yours, Camille
all my love,
from the very stars burning in our sky to the
blackest depths of our oceans and the vastness of our infinite universe….
Though fairies may be but myth and perhaps your love is not mine to cradle, only time will tell and time is one cruel mistress.
That is no dream; that is a nightmare.
Every hand I peer at is holding another or on the arm of their lover. Spirits are laughing and kissing everywhere, all around me is a resounding atmosphere of love.
I felt alone; I feel alone.
Part of me wishes that a stranger will approach me, just for conversation. Perhaps they’d compliment me and I’d fake a giggle at the halfhearted flattery. They’d ask me why I am wearing two different shades of electric eyeshadow and why I am alone,
I’d have no answer.
Perhaps I’d put on an accent and make up some monumental lie about how I am a famous writer under the guise of being untitled and only publishing online. Maybe I am the Banksy of the literary world. And I come from some part of England or America, because those are my most convincing accents. I’d be brilliant in this story, maybe even genius and I’d be far more beautiful than I ever have been because intellect can do that to a face.
Or perhaps I’d just mutter the truth. Tell them I’m a student hairdresser wannabe writer who wants to move to America and forget about my prior life full of time wasted and depression.
That’s the thing about strangers who never learn your name, you can be anyone and they’d never know the difference.
I take up space I feel isn’t mine to take in the city centre and scan the crowd. Melbourne’s fashion staple is black but tonight is colourful. I have been sitting here all of an hour and seen at least two dozen Harley Quinn’s, a group of Disney princesses and far too much skin.
All eyes are gazing and chancing upon faces; some for the very first time. It is as though time stands still for those falling newly. They learn the voices of their partners to be and engage in explosive, drunken conversation.
Sure, I recognise that some would be as ships passing in the night but I know some would be ships docking for permanent harbour. Sparks and fireworks; happily ever after and all that.
I am destined for a moonless night sky, at least for now.
But now is all I know. Now is my familiarity and now is vacant in this city of roughly five million on this costumed eve full of laughter and dazzling frocks.