11:17 // 230912
There he goes.
Running around like an idiot, trying to prove himself worthy of something he’s not good at. As if he could tour or even conquer the world by doing so.
But I have to admit, he did conquer something as he ran. It may not be as big as the world we live in, nor even as half as important as it is. But it is still a world.
Everyday, I would sit on a bench with my pets and watch him run as if his life depended on it. By the time he passed by my corner, it would be his last stretch. He’d look so tired and obviously had his run for the day, so I would see him breathing heavy and walking slowly.
Sometimes I envied the air he breathes. He would take it all in without hesitation. He would gasp for air as desperate as a fish that was removed from water. And the air would proudly parade out of his mouth and nose as he exhaled it.
And sometimes I would breathe at the same time as he would. Just so I could tell myself later that I breathed with him. The only thing I could do with him.
I would repeatedly dream over this until tomorrow, as I see him exhaustingly walk past me. Until we can breath the same air at the same time again.
If someone would ask me which tournament have I been preparing for, with all the running every morning, I would be doomed. Because I have none. I have no reason at all.
Well, I do. But it has nothing to do with the running or tournaments or even getting in shape. But it’s the only thing I can do to come up with an excuse to see her everyday.
She would sit on the bench at the last corner of the park with her unusual set of pets: a Boerboel dog, a Himalayan cat, an iguana, and a pigeon. And she would read them a book, while they stayed still beside her, like they were listening intently to her storytelling.
I could not honestly figure out how on earth could she have such a queer set of company. How she manages to keep them all in harmony and peace. All I know is that I wish I was a part of them. How I envy her company as they peacefully listened to her voice, as her hands caressed them one by one, as her lips kissed them softly…
For the longest time I have been planning to stop by as I approach her corner to make an acquaintance. But everyday, all I end up doing is walk by slowly and breathe heavy to tame my heart as it beats furiously.
I would breathe at the same time she would. Just so I could say that at least, I managed to breathe the same air she breathed at the same time she did. The only thing I could do with her since then.
But not tomorrow.
∞ ∞ ∞
I was at the park earlier than the usual. I went straight to her corner. It was empty. I sat on the side of the bench that was usually unoccupied when she would be there.
I sat there and waited.
I was on my way to my corner of the park when I saw a man sitting on our bench, his head bent down. I groaned. My pets would obviously “scare” him away, just like what everyone thought.
I decided to find another unoccupied spot. As I turned to go, however, Duke, my Boerboel happily sprinted towards the bench. It was too late to call him.
I was so prepared to hear furious screams as the man raised his head when he noticed Duke, but I was stunned. Our eyes met.
The world suddenly stopped when our eyes met.
It only went moving on when the moment I stood up, her Boerboel jumped at me, seeking for my attention. I ended up back to my position sitting down, with a humongous dog on my lap.
I patted him and laughed. But hushed when I heard her laugh. Our eyes met again, but this time, she’s standing right in front of me.
“That’s Duke,” she said with a supressed giggle. And then suddenly, the cat on her arms joined Duke as she pounced on my lap and sat there contently. “Oh, and that’s Popo, and they obviously like you.” she said shyly.
“Please, have a seat,” he said, as he gently accepted my pets’ beloved greeting. I sat on the vacant part of the bench, with Duke between us two.
I was nervous. I was hoping that he does not know that it is possible for the animals to feel the way you do and express the feelings you have. I had to breathe deeply to calm my racing heart.
“They’re lovely,” he started. “What are the names of your pigeon and iguana?”
It took me almost all the air in the surroundings to breathe in to be able to speak to her as she sat down near me.
“This is Igor,” she said as she raised the iguana, “and this is Gideon,” and the pigeon landed on her knee. I reached out to her two other pets, and they all lovingly accepted my silent hellos.
It went on for hours. The sun bade its farewell, and the moon its and stars came trotting along. They walked, ate, strolled, and talked together. And eventually, it went on for years and decades.
At night, they would lovingly recall how they would think about breathing the same air at the same time while they were apart. And how they would lovingly dream of doing other things with each other aside from breathing. And how they have been living their lives with and for each other. And how they would go on breathing, dreaming, living, sleeping with each other.
Until someone wakes up.
13:28 // 230912