Absent Lovers, Again


From somewhere in the distance comes the sound of music, and maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like Neal and Jack and Me by King Crimson. Stopping in the middle of a country road as the animals float on by, I turn my head to one side trying to decide if the music’s real or just my imagination. Noticing me getting sidetracked, my fox doubles back and stands there waiting at the edge of the road, not wanting to burst the bubble I’ve found myself in. Gazing at the sky but seeing not stars but memory, I catch the lead singer singing about absent lovers, and just like that the sky parts and I see a vision of X and I dancing to the very same song in some spit and sawdust bar not long after we’d first met. We’d arrived drunk after a meal in some Chinese restaurant that had served us free shots of sambuca due to us telling them it was our first wedding anniversary. I’d put the song on the jukebox and although she’d never heard of it before, as soon as the guitar kicked in, she’d jumped on a table and started playing the invisible drums on the balding heads of two old men. They’d laughed at her while eying up her legs, and as she downed the rest of her pint before trying to balance the empty glass on the tip of her nose, they did their best to catch her in case she fell. She didn’t, though. Instead, she’d leapt off the table into my waiting arms, and after I put her on her feet, we’d pressed our backs against each other doing our best air guitar impressions. I’d sang the words at the top of my lungs, or rather slurred them, and she sang some too although they weren’t the right ones, not that it mattered, of course. Spinning her around, I can remember the curls of her hair spilling over her forehead, and how when I parted them and kissed her lips, the lyrics to the song had trailed off and all that was left was that spunky, intricate guitar, sending us to some timeless place. We were drunk and in love and barely knew each other, and yet that’s not true at all, for we’d been born in the heart of the same dying star, and although we weren’t yet aware of it, as we looked into each other’s eyes searching for solace and secrets, we were continuing a dance that had spanned the length and breadth of the universe.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

7 replies »

  1. “We were drunk and in love and barely knew each other, and yet that’s not true at all, for we’d been born in the heart of the same dying star.” ❤

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