By Joshua Carroll
She was standing in the rain. Unmoving, while the tiny drops spattered her blue dress. I watched her from the window. I wanted to walk out to her, tell her that she was the only thing in the world. No, she was holding me back. My feet were glued to the floor, petrified by the truth. The lights of the cab appeared down the street, her head didn’t move. Her shoes were white with spots of mud from the edge of the sidewalk and bits of grass clung to them desperately. The drops on her dress fell on the white flowers speckled across the print. They were daisies.
She didn’t turn around when the cab pulled up. She pulled the door open and ducked inside. Long black hair clinging to her shoulder, she lowered her head under the frame and disappeared. She left the way she entered the world, pure, wet, perfection. I stood, as I would die, alone, still, afraid.
Excuses ran through my head, I walked to the kitchen. Pouring whiskey was an aphrodisiac. You did the right thing. The rain was still falling outside and the thunder had started. Where was she going? It didn’t matter now. The next one, the better one, one who can give her what she deserves. I can’t, or I won’t, I can’t decide.
It says nothing to be a man in love. A man in love is cliché and unremarkable. Comfort creates complacency and happiness kills the artist. Nobody remembers the man who quietly sacrificed for love; they remember the struggle, the pain, the story.
All great writers are tormented. Hemingway and Hunter were committed, focused, that’s what it takes. I hope so at least. She will be fine. To be great you must sacrifice. Torment and suicide don’t come easy. You have to work at it. My glass is empty; I’m on my way.
My reasons were real and I go on what I know. To lay the path to greatness sloping away from love forces the pursuers to recoil at happiness. Who can have one with the other? Show me the great artist untouched by regret. Show me the greatest untouched by great pain. What great pain have I undergone? My parents alive, my life privileged, I create my pain. Mine must be constructed, part of my art made part of my life.
I used to stare into your eyes and wish the world could end right then. I wanted them to be the last things I saw. I was young then, there was time for greatness later. Hemingway said, “…you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.”
He understood, I tried to explain but she couldn’t hear me. Her black hair dragging in the rain, she slammed my heart in the door of a cab. My favorite, my girl, my life.
I’m on my way.
Joshua Carroll is an American freelance writer currently based in Dublin, Ireland. He blogs at http://jcarro11adventures.blogspot.com/