Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
I always find it interesting, the things you miss about someone only after you realize that they can never, will never, be in your life anymore. It’s never anything substantial, or at least, it isn’t for me. I always find myself reaching for little faded memories of whispered verses during a half asleep car-ride, or the way they’d move their thumb in circles around the palm of your hand when preoccupied. These things also always seem to hurt more, they prolong the ever-present feeling of loneliness, like a dull thud in the back of your head.
She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes
Suddenly, all of the wistfully thought out adventures and half-planned getaways slip through what could be, just another thing you realize can disappear so easily.
I don’t remember her face, blurring at the edges like the camera that captured my escapades was never really in focus. Maybe that’s because we take that for granted too; everybody has a face, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, all looping together in a universally agreed proportion. Actually, I can never remember much of the details of someone’s face after they’ve left. That can also be a good thing though, like every time you look them in the eyes, it’s like you’re really seeing them for the first time.
Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothing’s gained
And nothings lost, at such a cost
I do, however, remember what her room looked like: this soft kind of pale filter brushed over everything, as pale as the body who inhabited it. I remember that she barely spent more than a few hours in that white-washed room, opting for the much darker rooftop option. Three in the morning, rough sandpaper tiles scraped against calloused fingertips, as if grasping for something more sensual than the edge of the wind or the everyday routine.
She never slept.
“There’s no time to lose,” I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?
I remember listening to the distant whisper of Simon & Garfunkel, drifting down through her bedroom window, slightly ajar, momentarily swallowed whole by the promise of a dreamless sleep. I woke up the next morning wondering if it had actually happened or if I had just imagined the whole sensation in a barely conscious daze. There needs to be a word for that feeling, it was like nostalgia for something that had never happened, or for the present moment; sweet and subtle, retreating into the back of my mind.
I haven’t felt like that since.
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
I remember how she talked about the future, like me being in hers was an obvious preconceived notion, and the only definite detail. We, at some point in our short and eventful time together, had come to an unspoken best-friendship. It was lovely, not having to constantly reassure your interest in each other’s company, never feeling self conscious or annoying in any way. Forever on the same wavelength, one thinking the thoughts of the other before they were even formed. We were reckless and unpredictable, but we were completely and wholly in sync, down to each heartbeat.
We crafted our personas carefully, every night presented a new and untainted self, changing with the direction that each hour took us. It was all like a snapshot from a movie about teenage adolescence, and we marveled in the fact that we were only sixteen and still had the entire world in front of us to take.
Things are different now, and I wish I could say otherwise. I wish I could go back and tell her all the things I never did, notice more about the moments I never found important enough to pay attention to. I wish I could sit on her bed again, sink into the blankets and stare at those white-washed walls, listen to the sound of her fingers plucking guitar strings as rainbows reflected onto the carpet and my mind drifted away.
I wish I could have said goodbye.
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you.