The moon emerges magnificent.
I step out of my home and as soon as I see it in the sky, I greet it.
The moon. My eternal companion.
She is like me. Pale, she walks in darkness, night after night. She shines, but not with her own light. She merely reflects the light of others. Her light comes not from within, but rather from the outside.
Just like me.
The night and the darkness are my friends. I walk among them with assuredness and confidence that few possess. I feel at home when I am beside them. However, it is not darkness that I look for when I leave my bed, whenever I wake from this endless sleep.
I'm tired of darkness.
I seek light.
Light, however, was not made for me. One day, perhaps, it used to be. One day, now far back in time… So far that I can almost forget the sensation.
Heat. The embrace of light, being wrapped around by it…
I want to feel and immerse myself in this feeling.
But it is impossible.
I missed it no more. Time passes and it takes with each and every dense strike bits of an individual, until one is left unknowing who they have once been.
I was content with artificiality.
Bourbon street's lights were enough, they could always satisfy me.
Despite being cold, they were sufficient.
Bourbon street's lights aren't cherishable. But that was not what I looked for.
I was thirsty. I was moved by instincts. I expected nothing else. I craved no more.
Until that day, that bloody day.
She appeared like a vision ethereal, ineffable. So delicately, she walked along the sidewalk of that street as though she walked softly on top of little clouds.
She had brightness. Her own light from within.
My darkness was fully absorbed by that light. I could not escape, my eyes could not get away from that image, and it seemed like a dream.
However, it was not a dream.
It could not be. I am no longer able to dream.
She was a being of light. And to me, as a diaphanous being, it could not be real.
And indeed, she was not. Not to me.
It was a night like so many others. I left home. Thirst raged within my being.
Thirst for life, literally.
Bourbon Street is busy, always full of life. But this was not the kind of life that I sought.
Leaning against the wall of a nightclub, I watched the human traffic.
That is my vantage point. From there, I can see all but end up being seen by few, and only when I want it.
Darkness is my friend.
I had a typical target. And it didn't change much… First of all, because it would take too much work. And, secondly… Because deep down, I always liked that particular target.
Fragile, sweet. The sweeter the better.
Young, full of hope, full of dreams, full of expectations.
Full of life.
I felt life pulsing within myself once again when I had them.
It was only for one night. I did not need more than that.
My thirst for life is quenched very fast. No, I do not mind foreplay. Time also took that from me. Patience, interestingly, is not something that I have retained. I don't lack time for anything, that is a fact. However, I lack in pleasure. And without pleasure I will not care to dwell on what just happens to have a practical, objective, purely instinctive purpose.
It is horrible. Deep down, I know that. I am losing myself. I am turning into something terrible. That if I haven't, already.
How different am I really from a rabid animal?
In the early years, I felt an immense pleasure. Pleasure and guilt. Mingled, they balanced each other. It was intoxicating. The desire, the dominance, the sense of ownership.
It was as if I possessed the gift of life and death.
In ancient times, I took the most time with a single woman. It would spend the whole night with only one. I would sip of their life to the end. The women always laughed, amused. They toasted to their youth with me. I knew how to captivate. I could give pleasure, I knew how to make them want to be with me, I knew how to make them say they wanted me for eternity.
And for all eternity they have stayed within me indeed.
Yes, there was guilt. It persisted. However, it was never enough to make me stop.
Incidentally, I could not stop, not even if I wanted.
Or could I…?
No matter. The fact is that I have never changed. As a predator, my keen nose would always lead to a growing number of prey per night.
One was not enough. The pleasure of mastering, of deciding, of having a life so simple in my hands… It could no longer occur only once every night. It was not enough.
The thirst grew. The gap increased.
There was no time to waste on laughter, compliments. The charm was still necessary because it was the bait. I prowled, seduced. I needed to attract them. However, once enchanted by me, I'd abandon the chivalry, the manners, the smirk. From then on, I became the beast, no more than that.
The pleasure had died. And I had already given up on seeking life, whatever it was.
Until that night when I saw her for the first time.
Damned night!
Blessed night…
She was dressed in blue. Soft eyes so sweet, so gentle. Eyes that conveyed purity, eyes that talked about the naivety of a life still in its infancy.
Young, fragile.
Made of dreams.
Delicate, soft, she seemed about to dissolve into smoke.
And I, who never managed to sleep soundly, who was no longer able to feel rest give my body what it needed the most… I found myself suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling so different, so new and at the same time so old…
My heart skipped a beat.
Had I still a heart?
Something stirred me from the inside out.
A long, long time had passed since I could no longer awaken feelings from inside.
Any kind of feeling, if only false, misleading and trivial, I would get from the outside, from the world around me from the insane quest to bring something into me.
From the desperate search for feeling; whatever the feeling, just feeling.
Inside me there was only emptiness.
But, so suddenly… no more.
What it was; that I did not know. But something began to dawn on some secret part of my innermost being. It felt like a spark that began to burn.
Heat. I had forgotten it. But the feeling was returning. Gradually.
And then I found out that I had never forgotten it, really.
The feeling was always there, merely asleep.
She was the reason.
I don't know what to call what had been going on inside me.
I know only that I needed to see her. The desire was different. I did not want to take her life for me. I wanted only… to see her. To be around her.
That radiance dazzled me. There was plenty of light around her. The night seemed to be day again from her mere presence.
I had forgotten what the day was like.
After all, my life was now lived only at night. I was no longer suited to the dawn. I was not part of me. The light had become my enemy.
Enemy; however, desired…
She was the light that I sought without knowing it. She was the sense that filled the emptiness I felt, but never understood. She was the life that had existed in my actual death.
All this, without her even imagining what was going on.
Every night, she walked down that sidewalk.
I noticed her agitation. She smiled brightly. She seemed to know that world.
But that world could not belong to her, nor she to it.
However, despite her remarkable curiosity, she never paused. Never walked into any of the jazz clubs. She'd just walk straight. It was part of some routine course she had to do before going home, no more than that.
For a while, I would only analyze her figure from a distance. Because of her fine clothing, I could deduce the girl came from a good, traditional family. Money did not seem to be a problem for her.
Why did she walk there, in that place, at that hour?
What was she looking for?
Because after a while, I realized that she too was seeking something.
She probably knew not what.
And so we would wander without ever meeting.
She never heard my footsteps.
She never saw my shadow.
I never went too near her.
I was afraid. For a long time I could not control my instincts. And I had to restrain myself. I didn't not want that. Not to her…
However, although she had never seen me, I began to suspect that she felt my presence. Somehow, she seemed to notice it. I followed her through the shadows, always dodging her sweet and pure look. Fleeing and at the same time seeking.
Her light footsteps were no longer light. She hesitated. Never looked back, but her gait revealed she was lurking, as I did.
Many times, after following her to her house, I would put myself by her window. For countless hours, I felt overwhelming cravings, which I could hardly control.
But I always managed. When it came to her, I simply learned to do that.
I can vaguely remember who I have once been. I was good. Yes, I was. It isn't a fantasy created by my troubled mind in order to seek relief and mercy.
In the distant past, I was a man with good feelings. I was pure. And I dreamed.
I had a life.
How could I decay so much?
How could I be imprisoned by this life?
How did I get here, to this condition so miserable…?
Damn it.
I can't lose myself in daydreams.
I should have been gone by now.
Leaning against the wall on the corner in front of her house, I lingered more than usual.
Her light draws me in, and it does so irresistibly I lose myself from what I am, what I should be.
And I forget to leave.
Then she saw me.
I do not know exactly when, but she saw me.
Now she's coming to me.
She walking slowly, fearfully.
But she does not step out of her trajectory.
I lower my face, and I pull my hat's flap down.
I want to hide my eyes.
I do not want her to see through them.
She can not know my feral side.
It would be devastating.
- Hello! - Her voice is so tender and warm such as her presence.
The hat hides my face only partially:
- Hello - I reply dryly.
She seems to feel the roughness of my voice. Why so sensitive? One could hurt her so easily. It is possible to destroy her purity and ingenuity in a heartbeat. One can end it all in less than a second…
That's what I do. I destroy. What I am not, what I can not have, I destroy. Smash. I destroy what I love most. I destroy for I love. Until there's nothing left.
Remains of me. Parts of a deep selfishness that, when I was good, I could not even imagined existed in me so strong. But it's what is left of me. It's what I am today.
I wish I could put an end to it. She is everything that appeals to me because she is all that I can never be.
Her mere presence mortifies me. Why so perfectly sweet?
She says nothing. She only feels; she is so sweet everything around her vibrates in harmony with her small and frail body. I suffer, I feel pain that was before hidden and forgotten.
She feels with me.
- Why? - She finally asks.
I remain quiet, a wreck of my own daydreams.
She dares. She takes her hand to my hat, without my permission, lifts it enough to be able to look into my eyes.
I wonder, not only with my look now unraveled. My whole body is now a question. What is she doing? She should not. She could not.
- Why not? - Her answer is a question. And I understand.
- It's impossible. - Two words that never before seemed so absurd, yet they appear to be the only ones there at the time.
Her slender fingers slid down my face. I felt her shiver slightly; the icy feel must have surprised her.
I felt her warmth. However, she just felt cold.
- Night and day were not meant to meet. - And finally I untangle myself from her touch. I walk away.
She's not coming after me. Maybe she felt fear. Maybe she understood.
No matter.
It was over.
It was all but an eclipse.

The Moon over Bourbon Street

by davidsobral


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