I sit on the rug, drunk enough to know the glass of wine can spill at any moment and drunk enough to not care about it. There is an ambience of quiet yet satisfied exhaustion in the apartment. I am protective of this peace, too protective for my own good. To sleep and to wake up to silence is a vice not discussed as often but one that is potent. Like the strongest liquor, this silence engulfs you. It holds almost immediately, but you don’t realise it until you have taken it by the bucket, and then, it all comes to you in one strong hit. Solitude and love are intoxicating in the same way—you do not see them coming—and they are addicting in precisely the same way—you do not know when you’re under them. And when you are under them, you only want things to stay as they are forever.
I wonder what caused this sudden comparison. Then, I hear Skeeter Davis’ voice, and it occurs to me why I happened to think of love in this hour of solitude and why I feel inclined to defend my position without any inquiry or summons over me. I chuckle and get up to get a refill. I notice the collection of Bukowski’s poems lying on the rug. I had forgotten about it until now. Sometimes, we keep things in a place, and even though we can see them clearly, they blend so perfectly with the scenery, the moment or the days, we stop seeing them.
It has been the case with all my troubles, too. I kept them somewhere and then forgot where I kept them. Now, someday, I will be cleaning out some old thoughts, dusting some dreams off, and I will find the troubles right there, making me question if they were right there or if I had invented them. But all troubles are always looming. Each drop of peace counts and each ounce of solitude is essential, and if you have some to spare, each spoonful of love must be devoured as wholly as you can.
But at this moment, there is little to worry about, and something tells me I will miss this night. I will miss the wine, the Bukowski, and the music, which has moved from Davis to John Denver. Annie’s Song plays along, and for a second, I forget I am not in love with anyone. Then, I remember it and gloss over it like a column no one reads in the newspaper.