It took me a good while to look beyond those dreamy eyes and that crooked smirk which stopped my then-15-year-old heart for a whole minute each time I saw it. I eventually did look beyond, though.
I get it; you’re an idealist. You were living in a world where you saw the music you grew up worshipping become increasingly obsolete, and at a scary pace. As a musician, I understood that. You’re an artist. I saw the passion in you when you held onto random pieces of furniture that cluttered your house, while you drove that beat-up Convertable without an insurance (I hope that has changed), and most importantly when you met Her.
You loved so deeply— maybe it was the artist in you, maybe it was all the old movies, or maybe, it was just my hopeless brain that read too much into every gesture you made. The annoying perfectionist in me did understand the purist in you. Yet it came as a surprise to me to see you let Her go so quickly. Part of me wanted you to fight for Her, to stop Her from going to Paris simply because I expected the old Hollywood hero you were fashioned after to do so. Then again, you weren’t an old Hollywood hero, were you? You live in this world, despite everything you do to feel otherwise.
It took for the romantic in me a while to understand that you were a realist too. You loved deeply enough to know when to let go, for the both of you, and look how that turned out. When you looked up after playing that last note and flashed us that crooked smile, one last time, I understood. You made a selfish choice, and so did She. There wasn’t a whole “I choose me” monologue or an elaborate parting number. It was almost uncharacteristically subtle of you. You showed me that you could get the happy ending without actually getting the “happy ending”.
I can’t promise that the 19-year-old me is any wiser, but I can promise that I’ll try to find the realist in me next time I get too carried away (I’m guilty of going off to La La Land one too many times myself). I’ll ask the artist in me to try being less of a perfectionist and feel more deeply. I’ll find the courage to put myself first and give others the chance to do the same. I can’t promise to not get lost in those eyes though. That’s a promise I won’t be making for a long time.
An Amateur Dreamer
Written by Rajika Ghose for MTTN
Edited by Aakanksha Mantri for MTTN
Featured Image by Akshay Dhansoia for MTTN