Cannot be together

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When she says we cannot be together I am looking at the trees. The yews remind me of death, but maybe they also symbolise resurrection in other forms, other lives.

She is smiling and I cannot help feeling happy despite the rejection because I think that she will be happy without me. It is not so bad. The world is full of people who do not need me. But her hands are so beautiful I want to bury my face in them and I know that every touch would bring forth a new part of me, something forgotten and lost.

She has dark hair with orange streaks like gentle flames covering her head. I reach out my hand as though trying to pick up something high in the air. I never touch anything, maybe that is the problem. Feelings are not there to be touched directly and it feels so cheap to try and charm anyone with casual touching.

But now her smile is transforming, it is a lake into which I wade. I start sinking but I am not afraid of drowning. Do all people feel this bliss right before dying?

There must be new life, new hope in the waters. The darkness of her eyes makes me shiver. I do not see my reflection, only the place where life began, the puddles of primordial soup, the depths of the ocean. The end of life is also there, the eternal darkness. For we were born in the eyes of others, in their personal darkness. We were shaped by prejudice.

I have given my everything to her, I have given the end of the world but we are still smiling. She says it is a really nice day. I can only agree, the sun is burning through my skin and the wind is making my lips crack.

She asks what else is new. There is nothing to say, certainly there is nothing new about this situation. I bury my grief. She might be unhappy to see it. I want her to keep on smiling, even if it means denying myself. The tears can wait.

The purpose of these stories

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I wrote all the stories in this section between 2011-14. After all these years I no longer feel happy with the styles, yet it seems worth it to record them somewhere, since people have enjoyed the way I tried to explore different emotions in each piece.

Each story was originally written as just one paragraph. For readability I have split the paragraph into several more only now, several years later.

The idea was to have a short piece that hints at a larger story. Describing emotions or a situation like a snapshot I tried to imply what the main characters were like beyond the constraints of the paragraph. Sometimes there is a clear narrative, other times it’s more expressionist. There are a few allegories. I also experimented with the kind of detached style which is quite popular among authors today, as well as purple prose which is often ridiculed but fun to write.

The stories don’t describe my own life or mentality at the time. While writing I was always trying to inhabit the skin of a character, even if the narration is in first person. I find this aspect of writing difficult to explain. Of course when you write about emotions, you must have some experience of them. But the more you write, the further away from your real life the text gets, because ordinary life doesn’t have enough variation to make the writing interesting. Even when a story looks more like a blog post, it is still fiction. There are a couple of exceptions, when the mood of a story has clearly been affected by something in my life. I’ll point out those exceptions when I get there.