Soundtrack: Dead N Gone – The 69 Eyes

Africa

There's snow sticking to your eyelashes; little sparkles that looks like tears. They make me smile and I speak short incoherent sentences when I try to tell you how I feel. It's complicated to fall a million miles and not know where you'll be landing. I ask if you've ever seen Africa? You frown and the freckles on your nose blurs when I almost close my eyes in despair. Why do I always ask stupid questions with the worst of timings? I know you've never been outside this town, let alone Africa of all places. But I meant it in an abstract way, like – if you're ready to try this. To try us?

I don't think you get it 'cause you're blinking the flakes away, sniffling from the cold. I'm fascinated by your face and forget all about sand and aids. It's so far away and I don't want to go anyhere when all I need is here. It's clichéd I know, saying that. It's been said so many times that even I, half blind without my glasses, can see how worn out the words are. Even if I try writing them with the darkest of inks (carve them into skin), they turn grey in a matter of minutes, seconds even. So I shrug and try another approach, nudging your arm and we begin to walk. We breathe in smoke and breathe out dreams. The nicotine makes me dizzy and the smell of winter has me dancing. I wear too thin shoes and you've only got a hoodie on. It's black, and too big, just like my shoes are too thin. We both freeze, but you're laughing now as the darkness fall around us and the streetlights makes the air glitter. If August ended in love-songs then December is on fire. I steal quotes right off the bands we love, and we talk, talk, talk about music until my throat goes soar. We've got so much in common, we both want the same thing, and we both bleed electric. You've got scars across your wrists and I've got scars across my heart. I gave it to too many boys, too many times.

I'm used and you are beaten blue. Those are facts that we can never change around. They are in stone and they make us fragile, we've both got that stamp that scares people away; "handle with care", it says. It takes a lot out of someone to deal with that, not anyone would. I wonder if we could piece ourselves back together.

A while later when we wait in line you say that you never cared much for places that are far away. You like things smaller when the world gets too big for you to handle. I think it sounds poetic. When we speak it's like melodies thrown off track. Like if you killed pop and turned it into rap and then mashed it over with god awful metal. Short, stutter-ish and with such an angry tint. I just want to wrap us up in cotton and turn the lights out. My favorite dream is that of you breathing down my neck and I wake up with your arm around my middle and there's sunlight playing in your highlights. I made them in your hair a month or so ago. They fit you well, brings out the warmth in your sad boy eyes. That I actually say to you when we show our tickets and walk in. With a headshake you let me know I'm weird. It makes me feel okay. I'm trying one step at the time to get around, to find a way.

We met at the record store, our eyes found each other's over the N's; I was looking for New Found Glory and you for No Use For A Name. We accidently bumped together while reaching out and I exclaimed my love for the band you we're looking at. 'You sure?', you asked, being recommended them from a friend and not really being that kind of kid. Yeah, ten thousand percent sure I smiled back at you, love-struck as I was at first sight. We bought our cd's and walked the same way home, finding out that we live across the street from each other (almost if you squint) but I'm kinda new and I work a lot so that's why we havn't seen each other around.
A local band was playing later on that night, they're sort of good if you like stupid-punk that makes you grin, and you were keen on seeing them, so on we went after that. I played you songs and you played me music. What's the difference some people may ask? Truth to tell, I don't really know, I just know you change colors with the rhythm. Where I go mush you got the hardcore edge, so we complement each other well. Some afternoons we listen to Death Cab for Cutie and make up castles with our minds, other nights we turn each other's insides out to the tunes of Halifax. Music is so important; it's oxygen in a breathless world. Tonight we're watching boys on stage that has make-up on and 200-hundred dollar haircuts that looks too much. They're new and up and coming. You like their screaming and I like you liking things, so that too works out well. Actually they are not that bad if you wipe away Hollywood from their smiles.

I know the guy in the bar and get us beer a little cheaper than for the others in this place. He looks me over and says I look good tonight, 'for who?' he asks half a moment later and I can't help but to let some of the butterflies escape. A silent nod in your general direction and a glance underneath my fringe. 'He's no good, he's got wreckage tattooed across his face' comes the mumbled reply, and I feel myself sinking. I know you're sick, I know you're not okay, I just didn't know it showed that clear. 'He's not that bad…' I try, but trail off, there are others in line and I don't know what to say. I believe in second chances, I believe in new tries and failing all your life for one single chance at success. That's called desperation if you look it up in books. The boys on stage play their hit single, and we dance. Bumping into each other, each touch from you has me on fire. It burns and burns; I need you to put me out. Do you feel the same? Or has the darkness swallowed all of you whole?

You talk about that sometimes, how depression eats everything away. Every emotion turns to ash and all those things that used to leave marks never does anymore. The only thing that's left is anxiety and not even that can hurt you when you're too tired to even care. Mind-sick and I recognize it so much but as I mentioned before, I am a believer 'cause I've seen the corners of your lips twitch, I've seen the dimples in your cheeks and I've felt that you can become warm. I've seen it a few times when I've come too close, when we shared blankets and the shades fall in a certain way. I've noticed fiddling with your hands and down-cast eyes (the kind that goes dark and wide with want). So no, I don't think that you are beyond hope whatever other people may say.

It's encore now and everyone screams their lungs out. I don't know the lyrics but you do, so I echo you silently. Watching you feel makes waves rip trough me. How can you be so special, boy? What is it about you that make me want to give myself away, again and again? I've dated guys like you before, ripped up rockers with torn apart sleeves. Your bright blues aren't the first that I've drowned in, but they might just be the only ones I've really cared about. I've been in love too many times to count. I've dated heroin and I got high with cocaine, I've slept next to sedatives and made myself stupid with pills that got no names yet. I've talked for hours with normal boys, and I've gotten roses strewn across silky sheets. None of them made me feel like you do by simply holding hands. Once again I repeat one of the most used clichés ever, but that is was life is like. It's all about doing the same things a lot of times, sometimes you mess 'em up and sometimes you get them right. You try and try and try. Some shit makes you happy, some don't. It's accepting such a harsh reality that's the hardest part. Living is being stuck in motion, you have to move on.

If you don't move, it'll push you off the edge. You're walking it. Your pale skin tells me that when it's lit by strobelights. It's stretched across your cheekbones in a way that speaks of too little sleep and too many nights spent wondering why you are alive. Insomnia is a bad best friend to have and I really want to take her place. When we walk out the doors to go home your arm is slung around my shoulders and I feel safe there; little beside you. Underneath the stars we are all equal. December will become January in a few days and another year will come around. We'll get older and hopefully wiser. We'll both change, for better or for worse. There are so many things untold. If you look at the big picture it's so big I lose my mind. I stare in awe at everything we could become, all the lyrics yet not written and all the notes that'll become our new favorite songs. How can you ever contemplate not choosing that?

You tell me you thought the band was mediocre but it was worth the money. I agree and get giddy inside because your arm is still wrapped around me, your fingers tangling themselves in my hair when you make us stop. We're outside 7eleven and the neon paints the snow in red. I like how it looks like blood from a really old movie; I imagine us being the stars playing the leading roles. Our audience sits on pins and needles, fingers crossed for love, but still scared to death of hate. It's on you now, honey. I've done what I can. I look at you through lashes coated with too much black. You push a strand of hair away from my face (again here we go with the clichés, but oh god, how perfect they fit) and I shiver underneath your touch.

'Do you wanna go to Africa?' you whisper against my lips.