Thursday, May 10, 2007

EASTERN EUROPEAN RHAPSODY

"Would you risk talking to me or jump off the terrace?"
"Umm... you tell me..."
"Ouch... you chose to talk... you'll regret this."
"Hmm... jumping to my death wouldn't be less painful."
"You will change your mind some day."

Her flirtatious words flowed superfluously sweeping his mind away from the oppressive heat. The setting was like every other gathering where they all converged from nowhere, drinking away the summer nights. It was a convenient lie, concocted to forget their wasted days, months, years and sometimes complete lives. The radiator vents were yellow with grime and cobs, standing testimony to the winter gone by.

"Do you remember cherry blossom.... in the marketplace... I thought it was confetti in your hair."

Old progressive songs, with forgotten lyrics and warped melodies were still stupendously successful mating calls. Songs replaced imagination and encores would be hysterical giggles followed by intimacy of the desired kind. They were all there -- violinists with no violins, service managers with no bosses, art graduates with no inspiration, theater rejects with no dialogues , future rockstars with no cocaine, freckled models with no agents in Berlin, tequila-shooting plump girls with no sex and dark foreign kids studying medicine with no one to talk to.

The only one missing was a diplomat's daughter with dark eyes and no dreams. Infact, she did not even exist before tonight. Leftover communist agenda had vomited some homeless kids, as a reminder to the evil fangs of the bygone era. Sometimes, a hushed murmur could be heard, wishing for another revolution -- but it was often the vodka talking as these terrace creatures had never known what yellow walls and red words meant.

He had never cared for the politics of his state. He had only dreamt of drowning in the Thames, drunk on success and a new life with an old lover. Neither seemed too tempting anymore, so he laughed at his peers' crass jokes, read out scraps of poetry and strung beautiful melodies against the concrete floor of the chosen terrace. A young homeless girl, barely in her teens -- high on misery and low on hope snuggled up to him and bit his nipple. He heard his friends laugh as she tried to smuggle some money or better still, pills out of his pockets. He gave her a bottle of beer and she walked away winking back at him.

He stumbled his way to the dark staircase and found someone he shouldn't have met, sitting on the cold marble leaning against the banister, struggling with a shard of broken glass stuck in her toe. He lifted her foot and sucked the remaining drops of blood. Her gaze pierced right through the facade and his motives deserted him.

He followed her to the edge of the terrace.

"Would you risk talking to me or jump off the terrace?", she said.

And he really never had a choice except to get entangled in the worst nightmare of his conscious existence, crafted carefully by the boredom that belonged to the diplomat's daughter.