Your bag has just been packed, but there’s still fifteen minutes left before you can leave. So you chat with your colleagues who are all waiting for time to pass. Your eyes flit impatiently to the time bar at the top right hand corner of your screen. 18:48… 18:52… 18:55… every time your colleagues laugh at something you say, you check the time.
At 19:01, you stand up to leave and sing a cheery Bye to your colleagues. Wait, one of them says, give me five minutes, I’m going the same way. There goes my bus, you say jokingly, or maybe not so, if she gets the hint. She doesn’t. After that, as you are about to reach the overhead bridge that separates you from where you are to the bus stop, you watch dejectedly as your bus hisses past you.
You climb into a cab, not wanting him to wait because getting on the next bus would mean another forty-five minutes gone. You grimace as you peep at the meter clicking happily away. But at least he won’t have to wait long. When you arrive, you walk towards the cafe where you are supposed to meet him and you see him amongst the crowd, pen in hand, diary on the table, frown between his brows. You approach quietly and sit down. He kisses you hello, then continues writing. You know it is going to take a while. You quickly order your drink and your dinner because you are famished. Then, prepared this time, you calmly take out your book and start reading.
To live with a creative man and support him with your love, you learn to be dispassionate. Creativity, like passion, ebbs and flows. If he flows like a river downstream, you erode away like the soil around it to accommodate. Together, you meander down the mountain, aiming for the sea. Maybe one day the both of you will get there. You hope.
Finished with the writing, he turns on the laptop. You close your book because the words are giving you a headache. You reach for your mp3 player instead. Ebb and flow. After that, on your way home, he hands you one side of his earphones. You take it without question. You know he doesn’t want to talk. He communicates with you through the tracks he chooses to play, the both of you having discovered a shared language of your own. That, and also through the love you make. He once told you long ago that making love to you was his way of connecting with you, and you remember all the make up sex. Every thrust a punishment, every stroke an apology. Unconsciously, your gaze rests on his lips. Noticing that, he smiles and kisses you tenderly. Your heart starts beating passionately again, so much so that it stings your eyes.
You reach your stop and he insists on getting off the train with you. You make him stay on his side of the gate as you make your way to the terminal to wait for your bus home. You watch him from your side of the world as he, standing fifty metres away behind the glass wall waiting, drifts into his own. You want to touch him, stroke his face, but he’s too far away. He turns into something cold, impermeable, while you burn alone for him.
Passion. It ebbs and flows.