something that feels how chocolate tastes
by Chloe Hofrichter | shot by Kyla Rain
Rarely is there a time as simply sombre as the trip home from something wonderful. Nothing is so heavy as a return ticket. On the journey to, elation is palpable. Beneath your skin, innards have been replaced with helium – a human balloon. Words are laced with enlivenment, movement becomes animated, laughter is more genuine. The feeling when on a plane to another continent, the way the sky looks when you are immersed among its clouds, how the food tastes brought to you in little plastic cases. A car ride to go see your favourite band, windows down, the thrum of the speaker’s baseline in the soles of your shoes. The train to visit an old friend, happy memories flooding through the dam of your brain, toes tapping an excitable jig on the linoleum floor. Those feelings are a costly thrill – a drug you can’t get on the black market.
You find that during the experience, the air in your balloon slowly seeps out. The rubber sags in places, cracks in others. You start to realise that this, what you are doing presently, is what you have been looking forward to. As content as you may feel, it is bittersweet. The clock is ticking. One day, one hour, one minute, your wonderful thing will come to an end. At night in your hotel, you cannot deter yourself from thinking, that’s one night less. As a live song comes to an end, you cannot force the thought from your mind that it is, ultimately, one song less. As the sun slips towards the horizon, you are conscious of time escaping you, like a child in a supermarket.
Whether your thrill lasts for days, weeks, months, it all ends the same way. Your balloon of joy deflates. Any good feeling that is left escapes through a miniscule hole in the rubber. A little piece of your heart is left on a foreign beach, on the grass before a stage, in an elegant café… wherever it is you must come back from. You lug the feeling behind you on the ride home, like an anchor, mooring your spirits to the bottom of the ocean floor. The return journey seems never-ending, with music pumping through your earphones that is soaked in sorrow, a feeling like soggy bread. There is a life to go back to; monotony to resume; relatives to fake smiles for; grades to attain; mouths to feed; bills to pay. Whatever it is that fills the beige hours of 9am to 5pm for you.
Nevertheless, this feeling is what drives people to continue to be people. The stark contrast between delight and boredom, the constant reminder from our memories of how life can be.
And so we soldier on. We wake up, we go to work, we go to bed. We constantly search for more things to look forward to, something that feels how chocolate tastes. That, it seems, is the costly thrill of living.