She was smoking a big cigar when he walked thought the door and turned in
Feeling awkward yet comfortable enough the man opened his
mouth and said something in line with:
“Hello, excuse me, but, I was just wondering, do you happen to be Maria?”.
The words were scarce and pointless, it was that pause of silence between words that expressed his sentiments of hesitation and unease.
Entertained by the cigar tightly held between her feminine fingers she tastefully sucked one last cloud of pure white smoke and released it as if making a closing statement.
The cigar was finished, a young attractive, clueless gentleman stood starring.
She slightly repositioned her behind on the chair as to acquire a more
comfortable spot and fully commit to a new source of entertainment.
To him however she did not look as exiting as he imagined.
She was not black, nor fat nor old enough to have gray hair, although he did notice a few. At first she looked young almost too young, but as she proceeded with her facial expressions he noticed how easily and casually wrinkles appeared and disappeared on her face.
Her skin was still winning that battle against age but it was evident that soon, almost too soon the roles will switch.
She smiled as if reading his mind, he felt intimidated.
“Sit, please, do not stand by the door. “ she jested with her eyes to the
armchair standing left of her.
The man preceded with caution.
He was afraid to loose the sight of her eyes as if they would run away behind him and bite him on his ass.
As he stared at them he subconsciously grabbed one of the wooden handles to reassure the existence of the chair, and fell on it with a sign of relieve.
A breeze of fresh air refreshed his perspirating forehead.
Minute of silence, he did not dare to speak.
“I was almost sure that you were not going to come. Perhaps some rational
thought, those come so often to people like you, paralyzed your curiosity.
Logic inspired by uncertainty and fear provokes the most irrational
behavior and can be very destructive.
Thus, I see you found strength to calm your fear before you made your choice.
Well it is nice to see you.”
Her voice was very soothing.
She spoke slowly with long pauses of silence as a kind of a tactic to better penetrate his head.
It worked quite well, fully grabbing his attention.
Feeling uncomfortable, he did not know what to say, how to respond.
She broke the silence once more.
“Do not feel obligated to respond to the sensation of discomfort by starting
a meaningless talk.
We all are familiar with that feeling, except some do not care to fully understand the reason why they suddenly have the urge to speak.
Do not try to hide your awkwardness under a pointless conversation.
I do not want you to be once again a victim of this ridiculousness.
Besides, the sound of silence is universal.
We all speak it and understand it. I rather hear you say that.”
He was silent.
She liked it.
Five minutes, ten minutes, they were still listening to random conversation
on the street.
Women, men projected themselves though their voices and
pushed around his thoughts.
Like a ping-pone ball he bounced off intruding ideas until finally it all became
a big pathetic vibration of worthless conversations.
Out of self respect he chose to ignore noise and listen to himself.
Inside, it was quite as in an empty room with a leaking selling.
Only drops of water one after another resembled his heart beat.
“What now?” he thought.
Slowly he realized that nothing mattered.
The woman did not seem to intimidate him any more, like a fly on the wall she sat on her chair.
He always new about this inconveniently available space inside.
This emptiness that is born within us preceding our own existence.
He remembered how once in a while a thin figure or slender fingers or long lashes of his classmate would invisibly appear in one of the corners of that room.
Its presence exuberated love, yet it was not vast enough to push simultaneously against all the atoms that made up the six walls of the room,
leaving him half empty.
As time progressed, the space remained unchanged since nothing that he saw in his life seamed to fit through the entrance in.
“Is everyone born with this unexplainable emptiness that they are desperate to fill?
Is it the point of life, an engine that keeps us moving, a motive to act?”
Some chose to run away, and others stuff it with material things.
He simply ignored it and with time learned that working insane hours was the best drug to this illness.
He worked to the point of numbness, when his brain full of boiling metal would explode and burn anything on its way, memories, feelings, fears, doubts.
But today he realized that something finally burned out,
and that is why she found him in her chair.