Surprise sometimes will come around, surprise sometimes will come around. I will surprise you sometime, I’ll come around. Oh, I will surprise you sometime, I’ll come around. When you’re down…
The light flickered as the heavy oak bar door closed slowly right in front of me and the laughter from the people inside died down. It was more than standing outside a bar looking in, it felt like being in a different time continuum, an orbit a million miles away, unable to grasp the severity of what is happening on the other side.
I keep watching through the murky door glass inlays. His arm casually around the blonde next to him as she laughs about his joke and he beams at her. A look, that for the past few months has been reserved for me, or so I thought. People say life doesn’t change overnight and I agree. But mine seemingly did change within only 48 hours. That well-known looming expiration date suddenly was handed to me. Signed, sealed, delivered, not yours anymore. And even though I assured everyone I did, I really didn’t see it coming.
I blamed myself, I should have known. Can you ever really prepare for an ending? Especially if it involves being replaced? I don’t think so. And there I was, standing in my orbit, utterly stunned and suddenly minus one that never really felt like a plus one. Still trying to make sense of it all.
Interpol’s Untitled will forever be ingrained in my memory as it is so tightly interwoven with this very scene. The guitar doing its thing, lulling you in, until second 41 when the drums set in. The surprising goosebumps you just had a second ago transition into tiny little whips on your skin. Not enough to inflict pain, but enough to hurt just a little and make you more alert. That’s what it felt like. Never has a song been more on point than it felt in this very moment.
Knowing you don’t want to be someone in the long run but still not wanting them to want to be with someone else are two very different realities. And now they were both pouring down on me, just like the thick droplets of rain that decided to surprise Downtown Manhattan this evening. Sometimes timing is just comical. There I stood, totally numb. Every bone in my body felt heavier than usual. Every cell in my body was stricken with sadness but I didn’t cry and I wasn’t upset. It was a different kind of sadness. Being sad and mourning what was, what could have been, without the longing to want it back. Saying goodbye on my own terms to something that didn’t end on my terms. And that would take as long as it took.
Our time together was now comprised into this montage flickering in front of my inner eye. I took a deep breath and just moved through the emotions. The heavy rain soaked my hair as I stood there dripping. Raindrops rolled down my cheeks, where tears should have been. Emotions dripped off me in rhythm with the rain.
Surprise sometimes will come around.
This is it. This was that. Someone opening the door as they leave the bar brings me back to the here and now. Just in time to catch one last glimpse at him as he is looking over his shoulder right at me. I want to say I remember a slight nod but maybe it was just my imagination. Something to look back to that made this moment more memorable than it actually was. Who knows? Before the heavy creaky door closed fully again and cut our brief exchange short, I suddenly started moving and walked down the street. Totally aimless, but determined nonetheless. One foot in front of the other, bringing my cells back to life, feeling the oxygen flow again and the numbness leaving my bones. Until seven blocks down, the sun decided to come out. Of course, the sun came out. I smiled relieved.
My time continuum wasn’t made for caramel-colored filters in the long run. My orbit simply wasn’t ready for the long run yet. It wasn’t ready to settle down. I knew that. He knew that too. And then she came. They got married nine months later.
As for me, it was time to try out different filters for once. It was time for me to explore and make the most of my time in the most exciting city in the world. This wasn’t a time for big decisions, nor the time to settle down, but to change my mind and change it again if I felt like it.
Coffee, I decided, that’s what I needed right now.
Surprise sometimes will come around, surprise sometimes will come around. I will surprise you sometime, I’ll come around. Oh, I will surprise you sometime, I’ll come around. When you’re down…1