things untold but felt
every now and then, one paints a picture
that seems to have opened a door and serves
as a stepping stone to other things
― Pablo Picasso
Was it something he did? Something he said?
No, not really, just... I don't know there was something about him that stopped me in place. His face, I couldn't force myself from looking away, as if seeing a man that found peace, but at the same time...
I ask her with my heart slightly racing. I can't even explain the craziness that's going on in my body, or any logical reason for it. All I know is that I need the answer to it. Strange thing, one might say. The need to know details about someone you haven't even met. About their face expression, about their gestures. Anything. I look at her again with the question still vibrating from my body like some odd form of expanding energy. I can see that she struggles for words, her hands helplessly outstretched forward, palms up.
Mmm, it was as if he was collapsing from the inside.
What do you mean?
I ask slowly, feeling my brain not being able to process the sentence or not wanting to. My arms crossing tightly over the chest as soon as I see my hands begin to tremble. I watch as she sighs and shakes her head, almost as if she had the entire chaos of the cosmos inside of her and didn't want to let it out into the world. My eyes turn soft and encouraging, and she smiles a bit at me, nodding.
It was such a peculiar thing to watch. His eyes were closed, face lifted to the slightly dim light filtering through the clouds. And the light... god, it seemed to be swallowing him up, a soft embrace that he could sink into completely. Getting lost forever and never coming back up for air. I saw peace radiating from him, but also sadness that seemed to flicker from under his eyelashes, as if all the shadows of the world were hiding there.
I whisper out, trying to say something, but she puts a hand up, gently silencing me.
Peace was surrounding him, as everything in inside of him was collapsing.
I don't... understand.
My voice is muffled and low as I make a great attempt to sink into my soft hoody deeper, the wind around me humming the first tones of Autumn all too clearly.
He was rebuilding, Sophie. It's the best way, or any way that I can describe it. As if watching things underneath his skin, muscles, lungs crush and tumble like rubble, turning into dust like... he was finally giving in all the pain that wanted to suffocate him, giving into it willingly until everything inside just... collapsed.
She inhales deeper, enjoying the feel of words finally finding their way on her tongue, rolling off it in a graceful, nearly hypnotizing dance.
Like he was breaking all of his structure and the person that he once was into something new. Devastation, pain, dust. Crumbing away until there was light breaking through in between his shattered walls. And I saw it, like watching him inhale the light, the first sunlight in many decades.
I blink at her several times, not finding anything to say. She smiles at me and then stares at her hands for a while, looking a bit embarrassed and awkward for putting herself out there like that.
I told you it was a lot.
You did, and I knew it would be. Could pretty much feel it from you, like you were oozing
She makes a face and sits on the bench behind us. I join her and slip my hands inside the front pockets of my blouse. It feels nice and warm, but I still tremble a bit as I sit next to her.
Sometimes I forget how you are.
She looks up and gazes at me with her eyebrows furrowed.
Not in a bad way, more like sometimes I forget about the magnificence that sits inside of you. How you paint words instead of just saying them. That's a little miracle in itself.
She looks down at the ground with a shy but warm smile, and we just sit there in comfortable silence for some time. While all the while I wonder how to tell her, how to even start to explain that everything she said about him, every thing she described sounded familiar. That every feeling she read from his face and painted so masterfully seemed to struck a personal cord in me. As if I lived through all of that, as if I experienced it first hand. Or experienced it with him in some other lifetime, a perfect stranger described with someone else's eyes.