You are so much more beautiful when you are free of him

by Christos Polydorou

Trust the future. We are wearisome about the future, but the future is protective of us. We all, readers and writers, sit by our late December windows in the earliest light staring at the birds which are from time to time flying at and away from our window. In this way we have seen woodpeckers and the red of their rump, and chaffinches of carmine yellow and lime green, and jays of cerulean blue, and tiny black and white tits, and sparrows, soaring in swift, unanimous flocks, of tens, and twenties. This act, known as birding, is of spiritual dimensions. Within them we all forget, women and men who have haunted us; we cannot direct this play, because it is not one, and those players are in a world of their own, and mostly unreachable. The last man you and I were with was an enigma. No one could figure him out. He was not however a pleasant enigma, but an enervating curiosity. How he could be himself and then suddenly not be himself, destroy everything he had been and then become himself again, on repeat? How he could stay in a Buddha calm, for hours and hours on end, such a calm that it felt from him to emanate anything but a calm? He never understood that his displeasure and dissatisfaction and misery was infectious, due to the enormity of his pulchritude. If a swan begins to tell you what it sees, and all it expresses is inadequacy and hate and judgement with an arrogance so unbearable you consider running away, it might break something urgent in you, and pollute your faith in humanity. He had a mirror, but did he listen to himself? He could barely hear you or I let alone himself. He was not our father, nor could he ever substitute him. Nobody should. You and I cast a longer shadow than this. Let me help you remove your blue dress, as you begin to remove mine. Undo my hair, that is in a braid, and I will comb yours until it looks like a waterfall of angels tumbling down your back. You are so much more beautiful when you are free of him.

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