You lift a cup of black coffee and put it down again without even pressing it to your lips, then sit back. You rest for a minute or so and then look around searching for someone who could land you a cigarette. Sun is shining straight to your face, you put on your sunglasses: you haven‘t seen it for so long you can‘t even bear to look at it.
I sit down in front of you. We stay quiet for a couple of minutes: I watch you involved in another reality.
- Are you ready to order?
- Black coffee.
You say nothing, you don‘t even move, your head slightly tilted back, your arms crossed over on your chest, legs stretched, you’re thinking about something. I tilt my head back too in search for you lost in the clouds.
You lift the sunglasses acknowledging my persona.
- You know what I want? – you ask.
- Become one? – I offer.
- Maybe later?
- What about now?
You don’t reply, you shut your eyes and tilt your head back again. Clouds hide the sun for a second: I cover my naked shoulders with a black cardigan. The waiter brings coffee, smiles niggardly, collects empty plates and disappears in the abyss of the restaurant.
- Would you like to share a smoke? – I ask taking vanilla tobacco out.
You nod stretching out in the chair and ask me whiles yawning:
- How long does it take to get to know someone?
- How long does it take to get to know your-self? – I lick the rizla.
- Maybe as long as you are?
You click the lighter and inhale deeply overcasting the blue sky. First drops of rain fall into the cup. Tables around us slowly clears away.
You pull the jacket over your head and stand up grabbing a bunch of keys from the table. Homeless dog starts barking scared by sudden thunder.
- Come under the jacket, – you offer.
- What about our cups?
- Surely they‘ll survive. Shall we go inside? I will strengthen you with wine.
Rain is pouring down drowning the outside terrace. I hide under your jacket and we follow a couple of seniors into the restaurant: their fingers interlocked while holding hands, unwittingly I feel jealous of their connection.
The place is packed, you pick a table by the window and sit down without long hesitation. You scan the drinks menu whiles taking of your jacket. I observe people rushing down the street, they cover their heads with plastic bags and newspapers dreading to dissolve.
You sneeze taking me back to our shared reality.
- … the other day I was walking by the river, I tried to clear my mind from thoughts, almost meditated until I heard someone calling my name; I turned around, but the person was calling someone else. I decided to sit down on the grass for a minute. I watched the river flowing thinking if that what is happening here and now is the only possible reality, or we all live ten different parallel lives only we have no idea about it?…
The waiter who hasn‘t got time for existentialism interrupts the thought with a gentle cough:
- Are you ready to order?
- A bottle of Leonetti Merlot…
He wipes the table with a dump cloth and leaves us listening for noise. I catch your embodying look, I turn my eyes to the waitress working behind the bar: her straight hair curled around her face line from sweat.
- So you’re saying that another you now lives in a parallel reality? – you ask me still staring.
- That’s an assumption…
You lean forward whiles the loyal waiter pours the wine into glasses, and I get silent as if caught laying out the strategic attack plan to enemies.
- Imagine, – I continue after he leaves, – if I haven’t sat down twenty minutes ago, you most likely have asked for a bill and disappeared in one of the old town alleys; if I got stuck at work…
- But you sat down and what could have happened, if… simply didn’t not happen.
- In physical level – it didn’t, but…
- In physical level? – you laugh. – Interesting…
I go quite for a minute, lay back and watch the surroundings slowly sipping wine: a middle aged soaking wet lady enters through the door, black mascara running down her cheeks. She catches the eye of a passing man, who the accidently crashes into a rushing waiter. The waiter loses his balance and slips over onto seniors’ table spilling their soups of the day and turning over a basket with white bread…
- A matter of seconds, – I state after a while.
- I agree: if the lady walked in a few moments later, the trajectory of the waiter and the gaper would have changed and they would passed each other, but this is an interdependent chain of events.
- … let it be a theory, a creation of fertile mind, but argue the energy of even the smallest occurrences would be a blunt stubbornness. Don’t you think so?
I bluntly persist to proof my-self right; you smile at me, most likely charmed by the childish naivety; the waiter is licking the soup of the day from the floor; the man is apologising, but no one can hear him talking through the rumbling bellies of the senior couple.
You don‘t answer, but look at me with the same undressing look. There is no place for me to retreat, I cogitate…
… you becoming me, and me becoming you; reading your mind and sharing my own; embodying you, becoming one indivisible body sloughing out of it and being born again as a total one…
- What‘s your name?