What do I do with this patience and love? My hands are tired of waiting, so I cannot do much but write. I sit here, at forty-seven minutes past midnight, and begin typing this sentence as the glass of wine quivers and clinks softly in the silent apartment. Some jazz has been playing for so long it has almost faded in the background like a neighbour who never learns to keep quiet, despite your knocking on their door at the oddest of hours and politely asking them to keep it down. Eventually, the mind adapts. It is a powerful thing—this mind—but also debilitating.
My mind has gotten used to this silence: of braving it by myself, of little things in a day I tell no one about, of walks with nobody, and of cups of coffee that I cannot remember. Memory requires retelling. Some things are so insignificant you dare not mention them to friends and family lest they give you a glance of disapproval. But my life is chock full of the ordinary, and I have begun to forget most of it!
I do not overestimate my intelligence, but I know I am still a somewhat smart man, so lying to myself is rarely easy. When I look at this love I have within me, all this stray emotion, I do not know what to do with it now. When you have guests over, you often overestimate the amount of food, so there is always something left. And what if the guests fail to arrive? What do you do with the excess? On the question of love, my situation is the same. It is a good life. There is so much to share, so much to do with someone else, like an itinerary for a trip you could never make that lives in a torn notebook or, often, as regret. That is how things have begun to feel, and there is little I can do or say about it that would change things as they stand.
For all my fortune, I have not had much luck in matters of love, and all of it remains on the table in some coffee shop, like a deal gone wrong where I talked too much or not enough, where I did not know what to say at the right moment or manner. So much love has gone to waste, like a gift you could never give to someone. It remains in a cardboard box deep in the attic of my heart, taped carefully.
You cannot read the label under all that dust.