Andrey Gritsman

Incident At A Restaurant

For N.R.

We met by chance sitting at the same table with incidental co-travelers in the courtyard of the bistro in the town that casts shadows from its gray stone houses, maples, and fateful past. Our liaison started with a touch, and nothing followed besides strange invisible electronic chain of events. I flew back home to one coast, she to the other. These events were indirectly related to what we have already committed in the past and could not stop now, as if by the relentless inertia of fate. It was our readiness to get close to the edge, look down and see nothing but skeletons of the cars, burnt tortuous trees, and the carcass of a dog of an unknown brand. When you look long enough into the precipice, the precipice looks back at you.

There was some strange meaning in our encounter, and it is absolutely not what you might think. We never see each other anymore. The sparks of electronic charges condensed in the rarefied air of life and created a small, dense cloud. No one could see anything in that cloud but we could. Strangely, each of us could recognize only the outlines of what would happen to the other but not to oneself. For each of us our own chain of events was broken at the very beginning of life’s narrative and disappeared beyond the horizon.

We could not tell each other the whole truth. First of all, because nobody knows the whole truth but could only guess. Secondly, because you don’t want to hurt somebody you might have fallen in love with, suffered over, and then continued to love a phantom. The ghost slowly disappearing and yet acquiring outlines of the image in your childhood. Such image first emerges early when baby wakes up and lies silent for a while. The parents asleep, not really knowing each other, and only little child can sense each of his parents’ soul with its warm spots. These elementary particles gradually form some energy field appreciable only by child’s own newborn soul. But such events occur only before awakening of the consciousness.

That is what happened between us in the courtyard of a small restaurant in old town in the shadow of an old abandoned gray stone beyond the fence.



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