Man Of The Night
The man of the night, yes, we all know him, living in the shadow that life provides, his light heart hidden by his cloak, his eyes tenderly veiled by his hat, gazing into his peripheral darkness, and then, the undeniable, and yet unaccountable truth of his life. It is to this extent that his pain commences, on a unstoppable plummet towards madness, or other forms of safety, it is also from this that we barely know him, molding his mask to smile, his eyes, dead. Do we love him for it, the constant worry and awkward conversation, in which, interwoven with a wall of secrecy, is his love, blocked, unseen, till the warm grieving hands of death melt it away, that only love should remain. Love, in a place, a memory, a letter, love that would heal his wounds as well as yours, or mine, that forever he shall remain, man of the light.
Turning a corner, I walked down the hall toward the door, already open, letting in a dazzling white light from a street lamp. At first I was blinded, seeing nothing but a man's shadowy outline, smoothly shifting from side to side like a metronome, confused, I ran forward and out of the door, the light was dimming now, and I could just make out an old wrinkly face gazing passively at me. With the light still imprinted against my retina, I stumbled, trying to regain my balance and sense of direction. Holding myself steady against the wall, half kneeling, I looked up. There he was, on time for once, holding a crocodile briefcase, always the pretentious attention seeker, wearing his usual beige coat, that resembled more a cloak then anything else, and his wide rimed hat. “Hey pops” said said I, he grunted in reply, and perhaps tilted his head an inch in acknowledgment. I couldn't see his eyes, then again, I never really had, he had always hidden them from me, “a gateway to who someone really is” some say. I suppose that this is what angered me so much about him, his boasting, his patronizing, it infuriated me, I didn't know him.
With a forceful jerk of his head, he indicated that we should start walking. Always in control, through some kind of unnoticed manipulation, another betrayal. As we walked down the street, I was perplexed to see that, through the corner of my eye, it seemed as if he were gliding beside me, no tremulous juddering of footsteps, and yet, when I looked at his feet, everything seemed quite normal, in fact his usual smugness, and sense of superiority, emanated from each step, not only normal, but expected. As we past street after street, my legs started to ache, but his step never faltered for a instant, he didn't so much as flinch when a car siren went of right next to us, or when a bird swooped down and briefly landed on his hat, before being violently, even heartlessly, waved away. “we sure shared some good time. Ay Pop!?” he mumbled something in reply, I frowned, looking down at the ground, my fists clenched, holding back tears of rage. “Pop!?” no answer “Why were you in Germany when you told nan you were on a business meeting in New York, before you guys moved to Paris?”, he stopped dead in his footsteps, an almost perfect statue. He replied with one, piercing word, that he uttered with such force and severity, that it made me wish I hadn't said anything, “How?”. I looked at him blandly, but I was shocked, and fearful, of what he might say, what he might do, I didn't know him. “I, I... saw, pictures” I said hesitantly “Hmm” he answer in a voice that rumbled, like two boulders being repetitively smashed against each other. He continued walking, without waiting for me, I rushed forward to catch up with him, “I am sorry!” I said “but they were, kind of, just laying there, on your desk” I looked at him innocently “but then I put them away, no one would see” He clenched his fists and walked even faster,and then it hit me, like a huge wave, of impenetrable, unstoppable, realization. I stopped “You were trying to tell her” I called after him “weren't you? Nan?” I said in a softer voice, he stopped as well, and turned, so that is face was looking straight at me, but his body as parallel, his arms by his side, as if ready to fight.
What had I done? I couldn't bear it, it wasn't true, he just looked at me “I...” my voice trailed of “I... didn't... didn't... know...I... love you” I din't know why I said it, or how it happened to come out of my ever restraining mouth, but Suddenly, unexpectedly, his body relaxed, and he faced me, beaconing me forward with his big clumsy arms, I had never seen him like this before. I ran forward, young, a child, “Pop?” I said, my voice breaking, smiling, my arms held out in front of me. I reached him, and as I through my arms around his waist, I felt his warm stomach, so comforting, relaxing, I closed my eyes, smiling. He put his hand on my shoulders and pushed me, ever so slightly away, and bestowed a kiss o my forehead, had anyone said it to him before, had the world said it, had I, three simple words that made music in him, such harmonious music, as the one that the heart yearns to create, to live, love, to set upon someone, the gifts of his music, to make them sore, feeling the world, feeling his heart pound, marking the drum, marking him, setting him free.
We walked some more, coming to a little park, we sat on a bench, surrounded, by lamps, and their pure white light, rings seemed to float around each one, as his a celestial call, or beckoning was taking place. The lights seemed to be getting stronger, all of a sudden he turned and for the first time, taking of his hat said “I miss you, you that, right?” The light was even more powerful, almost blinding, and as I turned to look at him, perplexed, he had gone, but how, I could still feel his presence, his new joyful self. Then I remembered, he was gone, and had been for five, unresolved years, and that I remember him should be his only time back on earth, and should others too, should be the same, three simple words, were his resolution, the key to his cage, “I love you”. He was now, man of the light.