Of Melancholy & Regret
He sits in the shade of a shadow of a night, his glower deeper than dark. The old chair, riddled with woodworm yet younger than he, does not creak once despite his rocking back and forth. He is weightless. He is gone.
The light of a saucer moon trembles through the window glass an ephemeral shimmer that tickles the soles of discarded shoes; he feels nothing. The drape of his cloak captures the moonbeams and swallows them whole. If ever there is such a state as gone, the light has found it.
The man’s fingers beat a staccato tune upon his black trousers, his fingernails, quicksilver motion, flit from here to there like a flamenco dancer on acid. One would think him nervous if one dared close enough when the truth is closer to bored.
When hollow eyes have seen all there is to see, all that the nightmare hours might offer, time holds less anticipatory factors. What he would give for a surprise. What he would give to feel. They are empty wishes from an empty being, a being who would be filled if he could.
It isn’t that he hasn’t tried, doesn’t try, he does. When the day falls and the spectral figure of man long lost rises from his self-imposed tomb, he strives. Yes, strives is the word he would use. He strives to find that which he’s lost, strives to find that which he wants, and strives to find that which he’s forgotten. He never does, nor never shall.
Our dark stranger rises to his feet and walks to the window; he sees all: the crow in a distant tree; the frog hiding beneath the pond’s lily pad; the reflection that is not his own. And there it is, for an instant of an instant, he feels, or dreams it, a heart set in stone crumbles. But a batted eye later it is gone and the only thing he almost-feels is pity. Not as much as the girl prostrate on the deep-piled carpet, but pity nonetheless.
There’s always tomorrow and millennia of tomorrows after that. In-between, there’s melancholy and regret.