Can You Hear me Now?
Date: January 10, 2010
“When You Sleep” by Cake, from Prolong the Magic
I left work yesterday at 7:15AM and went to [Supergirl]’s apartment. Supergirl is currently in BC, so the place is empty. I went there to catch a few hours of sleep before my parents would pick me up on our way to South Shore to eat dimsum– her apartment is more conveniently placed since they were going to go to the Montreal General Hospital first to drop off some blood speciments of my grandfather’s for testing.
Since my mom is a nurse there, it’s more convenient for us to take blood samples from my grandparents from their homes and just bring them in ourselves than it is to try and cart my grandparents to a hospital and put up with the hassle of parking and appointments, especially in winter.
I had a dream later that afternoon after dim sum. It was sunny. I was in bed and I dreamt that, as I opened my eyes, Supergirl was there, lying next to me the way she usually did. She was half asleep, her eyelids slow to react to me kissing them. When I did, despite that she didn’t move, her lips tightened in a small smile, and between the strands of her ruffled hair her cheeks blushed a bit. The way they do in real life.
And then I awoke, staring at the empty space next to me in her bed, and I think that right there and then, that is as lonely as I’ve felt since I met her.
I closed my eyes and tried to force myself back asleep to get her back.
Later that evening, I was working on my university application. It is the most difficult thing to be in the apartment of someone you love while they’re not there, and you know they’re not coming back any time soon. For every square foot of the room, I see myself with her, like ghostly apparitions, reinacting things in the third person from my memory. I tried to do what I do best– escape. Plug myself into the computer and get some work done. Failing that, just surf and lose myself in that ocean.
It wasn’t working all that well, so I moved over to the piano instead and started pressing down keys, eventually coming up with a catchy little tune. Before I knew it, a half hour had passed.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played any instruments. They’ve always had that magical power– the ability to bend time– especially when my mind is preoccupied. It was nice to just let my fingers dance and stumble, and get back up again. At some point, I decided I’d see if I could record the tune and send it to her. It took me ten minutes to decide that my phone’s voice recorder wasn’t going to cut it, and another few to configure her computer to do it instead. Then it took about 6 tries before I got a recording that didn’t sound like it was done by a 5 year old.
But it was done, in the end.
I hit “send” and off flew the tune, “The Bathtub Sea Captain” into cyberspace to her.
“What time do you leave for Hong Kong?” I asked.
“Around 5pm Montreal time,” she replied softly, so softly, she was barely audible over the phone. She was keeping her voice down because by that time, everyone in the house was asleep.
I was in the breakroom, and the lights were all out. I couldn’t touch her of course, but to hear her voice, even if bridged across the country, it made me feel alright. As I held my HTC to my ear, I was reminded of those HTC commercials.
“I’m getting sleepy,” she said. This is at about 3AM Montreal time, something like midnight in BC where she was calling me from.
“Sleep then,” I said. “Call me tomorrow when you’re at the airport?”
I miss her, terribly. But the fact is, when I hear her voice, everything seems okay. Well, as okay as things can be.