We stepped out of the doors. The smell hit us. No more carpet glue, or plastic wall plating, no more cologne or high-priced perfume, instead it was car exhaust, street grime, musty building gunk created by pigeons and beggars peeing on them in the cover of night. Hailing a cab seemed not only necessary, but a hopeful respite from the assault on the senses. Luckily, a cab came quickly.
Inside, incense, both welcomed and unwelcomed. At least the music was soft, and even relaxing when we finally got to our house. We walked the steps, unlocked the door, and turned back, looking at the drab neighborhood, where old ladies had shut themselves up in their little houses, where daughters dropped off their kids to be watched, while they took on second shifts at late night dives, and men, came only to look in on some father who watched the war channels, and drank too much in the mornings.
We grabbed our bags and loaded them in the little car. It was red, and we liked that.
Before locking the house doors for the last time, we both mentioned how our voices echoed in the space now left by the vacant furnishings. I noticed the smell. It wasn’t inviting… anymore. Maybe it never was. I recall the first day we moved here, the excitement, the freedom of being on our own, how alive we were, and how the vanilla candles made the new world so… inviting.
…. Driving past the last of the outskirts of the city, and into the little towns, across bridges, some covered in red barn-like enclosures, I felt my heart rise, and my life changing, mile by mile. Saying goodbye wasn’t always gonna be a bad thing, I guess. All I really knew, was that your body was now relaxed, and your smile came easier and easier to your face, and I almost hated myself for keeping you in the city for so long.
But there is something I will never tell you. When you finally leave me, through fate or time’s fiery consumption, I will return to the city. The parks and the rapid pace of living and the way the rain glittered on the mucky buildings, the sound of life buzzing, and the movies and dances and nightlife, it beckons me, even now…
Until then, the warmth of your hand, and the devotion of your heart, sustains my inner poet. It is not even a sacrifice, because you sacrificed so much already. I guess, sometimes, opposites do attract, but in truth, maybe just once.
Your smile takes away the bitterness in my heart. The Verve were correct, my love, life is a bittersweet symphony.
Enough with the loss of the hub of industry and creation… these covered bridges are beautiful, and I love how the tree-lined streets cast soft shadows over your smiling face. I love how the sparkle has come back to your eyes. Even I am relieved, now. I catch myself smiling more. Everything will be alright, I know it in my heart, and that’s where I needed to know it most.
We chat about the greener yards, and older vehicles passing us by. We stop at a small diner and order ice cream cones. The fields nearby are sharing their soil with us, as large combine tractors harvest rice with great gusto and dusto. Ha! That makes me laugh. Seeing you laughing at your own thoughts, I can’t help but to lean over and kiss you. Tonight, I plan to light all the candles, cinnamon, this time, and make love to you in our new home. I checked it out two weeks ago, and it actually smelled inviting, as if cookies and cakes had been baked in it often. I suddenly have the urge to make a spice cake. Hmmm…. It reminds me of how beautiful Autumn will be in the country. I feel some poems stirring to life, within my heart. I think smiles are coming easier to my face too.
We open the doors to our red car, and over the red, red roof, under the soft blue sky, we smile at each other, eyes shining.