photography by Evgeniy Grebenchuk
It must be day where he is
A brisk night dancing underneath golden chandeliers ends as you wander through the busy streets to the train station. It is late. A vibrant tune is still gently ringing in your ears. Your steps are light, joyous, and your mind is engaged in looking forward to the cosiness of your room. You think of him as you pass his neighbourhood, and you cross at the streetlight where you remember his tender kiss. He is thousands of miles away, just for a while, and it must be day where he is now. You haven’t heard from him in a while, but he is in your heart, and you’re in his. Surely you are.
At the station someone sits down on the other side of the bench you’re resting on, and you recognise him as one of the other dancers. “Going home?” he asks and engages you in a jaunty conversation. He makes you nostalgic when he tells you where he is from. You once cared about someone from there deeply, but you’re merely acquaintances now. You tell him you have friends from there, he is surprised and delighted. You brush off this fleeting thought that times were much better then when you met these friends of yours. The train arrives and you get on it with the dancer and his friends. They tell you they are bound to experience spectacular and memorable adventures tonight. He asks you to join them; you decline politely. You’re tired from all that dancing, you tell him, and think briefly of your paramour far away. It must be day where he is. He must be having glorious adventures too. A few stations later you get up slowly, you have to change trains at the next station. You wish them a good night, and receive a disappointed smile from him. As the doors of the train close behind you, you dare to wonder what would have happened if you followed him into the nightlife of the buzzing city, and later even, to his home.
The store is crowded. You line up in the queue. When they call you to the cashier’s desk, a young man greets you with a smile. “Do you need a bag at all?” he asks, and you say no, that’s fine. He helps you to pack your groceries into your bag, taking his time as he picks up every single item to scan it before handing it to you. Your fingers touch slightly for a moment, and you wonder where he goes to after work. When you pay with your credit card, he compliments your name, you blush and give him a smile. He wishes you a lovely day, and you’ll have it. You wonder what it would be like to see this smile arriving home after a long day. There are customers behind you and your heart belongs to someone else, so you leave the shop. It must be night where he is right now. You slowly walk away, towards your home a little further behind the river.
You’re on holiday, mindlessly leaning against the walls of the turquoise pool. A little girl splashes you with water. Her older brother excuses her behaviour and looks at you with apologetically green eyes. She tells you were they are from, as children do. You hold his gaze as she babbles on. You’ve seen him around, you’ve exchanged a few shy smiles here and there, secret looks. He reminds you of your high school sweetheart with his deep voice and the way his eyes move around restlessly. He tells you he’s lived in your city for a while. You move around the water slowly, almost dancing, and he ignores his little sister’s attempts to become the centre of attention. Their father comes to get the quirky girl out of the water. They leave, but he keeps you company until you have to rush off. Later that day you cross each other in the elevator. You’re both late to meet your families, you laugh about it jovially. You haven’t felt that excited in a while. When you reach your hotel room to change, you see a message on your phone. Good morning, it says. You look outside the window and see the dark night.
The others from that group have left and you’re left behind with a guy you barely ever talked to. You go into the nearest bar, because it is too early to go home, and you haven’t really had the chance to get to know each other. Just one beer, maybe two. You laugh a lot when he tells you in all honesty what he thought of the others. He puts his hand lightly on your arm when you tell him how you can park a car better when the music is turned off. When you leave the bar, he helps you to unlock your bicycle. He leans over to hold you as you stumble and you unwind from his arms, acting as if you hadn’t noticed. You get on your bike, wave good-bye and ride into the mild summer night. You feel the warm breeze on your arms, on your face as you let the wheels roll down the hill. You tell your best friend on the phone how good it feels to be appreciated, to laugh so mindlessly. What a beautiful night, you think. He’s so many miles away. How easy it could have been, how light. His bedroom filled with your laughter, hiding under the covers together, immersed in each other. It must be day where he is.
But it is late now where you are.
You arrive home after a long night; you take a shower and wash off the smell of beer and sweat. You look yourself in the eyes in the steamy mirror and you wonder what could have happened had you only understood sooner that his day would always be your night, his morning your evening.
You dare to wonder; did you miss the beat because your heart was too busy loving someone so far away?