‘Red was the colour of my true love’s hair..’ he says to me.
‘Really?’ I says. As if he’s listenin. lost in a drunken erotic reverie, his imagination drowning in several hundred regrets or so. But i couldn’t get away from him even if I wanted; the music had lured me in, I need a refuge for the day that was in it. But this old bastards reminiscences were slowly dragging me back into the primeval muck of my own private tortures.
‘Maria…Maria….my beautiful Maria!’ he moaned, repeating her name is if to summon her from beyond. Jesus! Why doesn’t someone throw the maudlin fucker out? He doesn’t even fit in here for fucks sake! The place is buzzing with youthful arrogance, this old bollocks is ruining the vibe, man. i was ready to break my glass and threaten murder if he didn’t stop crying out her name. But he kept on despite my withering stare.
‘Maria, mi corazon es tuyo, my heart….Maria, mi corazon es tuyo, my precious girl…’ I hope to share a knowing look with the barman but he is unmoved by this grotesque display of sentimentality and he blanks me, his eyes fixed on the band playing away in the darkness.
‘She was a painter, a poet you know? I made things. I could make things with my hands, l sailed the seven sea by Christ! She used to love touching these hands….’ I have to say something now to stop him, the crusty pervert. He’s drinking now, nursing his glass thank God. Some minor relief. Out of habit, I check my watch and then my phone. No calls, no messages. The drink is starting to kick in and now I have to think of her. What she did. No! I can’t. Embrace some kind of oblivion here. Get fucked up, dance like an idiotic dervish, take some acid, start a fight with this Maria guy if you have to! Feel something. Just not that.
‘Same again, mate?’, the barman asks, his tone sceptical of my constitution for alcohol abuse. Fuckin cheek! I’ll prove him my manliness now so I respond in the affirmative, more strident and defensive than I perhaps intended; I sound like a right arsehole now.
‘Okay mate, take it easy’ he says. My blood is up I tell you. Now who the fuck is touching my arm? Ahhh no! Yer man is back and making full bodily contact.
‘What’s your story?’, he says to me, i think but all warm and tender like. I want to scream, bolt out the door use my head as a batterin ram, bleed out onto the street like a shamed animal, disgusted with the universe, appalled with the limits of the crooked human heart. I turn to face him but I don’t answer.
‘Do you know what it is to love, son? To give yourself, all of yourself to love?’
I can’t answer because I don’t know. Right now, nothing makes sense and I truly doubt that I have ever loved another person, never mind my wretched self.
‘Are you listening to me, son? Have you ever danced with your true love under the moonlight, near the edge of the cliffs, laughter and music all around you, wolves howling in the forests, your bodies entwined, souls floatin, beyond thought, rationality, sex, God….we are the cosmos!’
Then, he stares right past me, saying nothing as if his precious Maria had materialized on my shoulder. His glass drops and shatters on the ground. We are cloaked in darkness, the music fading out his face frozen in fear, shock, awe. I cannot move as I feel a cold hand creep up my back and onto my neck, then a warm breath and I am swept away by her tender voice, the pain gone, back to that familiar terrain of shared dreams, fantasies and pleasures.
But it doesn’t last. It never does. Does it, Maria?