15. Sundance Kid

Warning: hint at suicice

“Do you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Everything we said,
Everything we did,
Became a song for you.”

When I look outside my window the sun is shining so bright that it almost seems as if there’s a fog hanging over the city. As if the buildings are wrapped inside a grey cloth, protective, smothering. As if you are looking at the world through dirty spectacles.

I blink, and it hurts my head. I wonder where my life ended. How I ended up with nothing while I’m used to having everything. But deep down I know the answer.

I inhale more nicotine, feel how my lungs swell and my throat itches out of protest. I need to quit smoking, but I can’t. Not now. Slowly I exhale, my lungs gratefully rid the poison out of my body and I watch how the smoke twirls and dissolves in front of my eyes.

‘This is what happened to my life,’ I think, before I take another tug of the cigarette. I shake the ashes off outside the window and watch them fall down. Before I would sit down and write things like this in a notebook, comparing my life to cigarette smoke and my soul to ashes that fall to the ground and get trampled under thousands of feet. But that was in a former life.

I extinguish the butt of the cigarette on the windowsill and leave it there as I make my way to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. On my way there I pass my cupboard that holds all of my memories to different times. Gold and platinum records, newspaper articles, press pictures, candid pictures, neatly stored in cardboard boxes. I know exactly what’s in which box, I could find blindly what I was looking for if I ever needed to look for anything.

It still hurts. Even the slightest thought of it makes my heart contract. Like the slightest thought of you makes my knees still weak and my hands tremble.

I walk past the cupboard without looking and enter my kitchen. I pick up a freshly washed cup from the sink and dry it, then I fill the water boiler and plug it in. I lean on the sink as I stare at the boiler, waiting for the bubbling sounds and the click of the button that tells me it’s done. It takes less than a minute.

I wait in total silence, I hardly dare to breath. It’s so quiet around me that my thoughts echo in my head. When I close my eyes I see your face, when I shake my head to try and drive the image out I hear your laughter.

The water is done, and I pour it in the cup. I take a teabag from the small basket on the sink and put it into the hot water, watching how the colour changes from clear to dark brown. I put sugar in it, and watch it dissolve. Purity becomes troubled with all the different substances that mix with it. It happens every day, to everybody. Every man is affected by every little thing that happens around him, he sucks it in like a sponge and carries it with him forever.

Every word you’ve ever said to me influenced my whole being. Every song I ever wrote is a reference to things we did, things you said to me, things I thought about you, things you thought about me, things you made me feel. My soul is poisoned by you, so obsessed and intoxicated. My lungs desperately breathe for you like a drowning person tries to engulf air and swallows water instead.

I take a sip from my tea. It’s so hot it burns my throat, but I refuse to care. I deserve the pain, after what I did to you and everybody else. I destroyed more lives than my own, and nobody’s ever blamed me. So I blame myself.

I never listen to the radio anymore, I’m scared that they will play one of our songs. One of the songs I wrote for you. When the band broke up, I swore I would never write another song again. I stuck to that promise. I’ve never even made music anymore. Music has left my life for good. It only reminds me of you.

But then again, everything does. Every day. Even as I’m sitting here in silence, wearing only my boxer shorts and my glasses drinking tea, I could have counted a million memories. Some that I try to fight, some that bring a smile to my face, but they all hurt just as much.

Sometimes I wish that I were more like you. Brave, strong and selfish. I wish that I wasn’t such a coward, and that I could end my life just like you did. I wonder if I would see you again if I did, and if you would still hate me and if I would still love you so much I would cut out my heart and give it you to show you.

But I have to accept my fate. I’m not like you, even though I always wanted to. I was not made to save the world no matter how much I tried or how hard I wished. I pretended to be like you, for years I lived in a dream world where we were the same. I was great, strong and powerful, I felt I could take on the world. I was cocky and arrogant, so full of pride of myself and what I had created. But all this time you were the real strength that carried me, the real force that drove me to become what I was. And your death made that clear to me once and for all.

All this time you were the Sundance Kid I always wished I could be. And even now, you still are. And I’m still living through your strength, through the painful memories of you that keep me alive.

I finish my cup of tea and put it back on the table. The sounds echoes in the empty room. Slowly I get up from my chair, to get dressed, and face a new day. They say time heals all wounds. Well, time is something I have plenty of…

lyrics by kent – sundance kid

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