Anthem for Something that was Never Really There

The pen and the paper and the typewriter and the smell of cigarettes and the worn out shoes – the worn out shoes provided comfort – and a world full of edges, sharp turns, disrespected street-signs; a busy world birthing even busier people – a conflict of interests: the meaninglessness and meaningfulness of all things – the pendulum that swung between both and the money that followed every swing and the coins and the banknotes and the credit cards and the worn out shoes that provided comfort in such a world; the night sky that concealed its stars and the hills looming in the distance as faraway giants and the pampered dogs barking from balconies – complaints were made to their owners by the man with the worn out shoes and cigarette smell; the man that loved tragedies so much he vowed to transform a world he had nothing but admiration for into a tragic play, and the city of artists would become his own prison of baroque tyranny.

Alfonse was meant to simultaneously be the protagonist and antagonist of the tragedy the man with worn out shoes spun around him; Alfonse had a much simpler idea of life and instead thought himself a lover. An unexpected change of plans but not one that would deter the tragedy because the man knew himself incapable of love – as his father and grandfather had been before him – and the tragedy of love was one he did not mind exploring. So that late spring night, under that sky that concealed its stars from miserable eyes, Zacharie embraced Alfonse and kissed him and the tragic love in the city of artists officially began.

The worn out shoes would become soaked with every summer rain and would subsequently harden after a night on the balcony; Alfonse would tell him to buy new ones but a refusal promptly followed – each time Alfonse did so he stepped out of the lines Zacharie had written and it angered him and saddened him so much he would refuse to speak for days. The loveless love had been buried in spring and flowered into a mangy, melancholic blossom by summer. Zacharie had chosen Alfonse but Alfonse had not chosen himself and if he had, he had done so without any thought – he had never consented to becoming a pawn in Zacharie’s lust for tragedy, unreal and expendable, like that loveless love they shared.

Boredom came to follow Zacharie like that shadow that had followed him throughout tumultuous adolescent years and which he dared not name, and he loved that boredom because to him it only further complicated the tragedy and if Alfonse would not be the protagonist of his beloved tragedy, what was to stop him from taking over the role? So Zacharie became the protagonist and formed a chrysalis around himself only to emerge a changed man without worn out shoes, a sudden interest in reading what few letters came his way, twice as many sleepless nights spent shaking and desperately craving nicotine, and a sudden hatred for the world because it had made him bored and that hatred for the world soon degenerated into hatred for life itself. The tragedy of love had become a tragedy of boredom and Alfonse had no place in such a story – but he, Zacharie learned, was capable of love and incapable of lovelessness and no matter how mistreated, how manipulated, how disrespected, he always came back to Zacharie with tearful eyes and tears that rolled down his cheeks as runaway stars fleeing the night sky.