At one point they were standing outside the house of an old man who ran the garage where they had sought help. The house was doused in the glow of a small yellow light. The man’s wife was frail and yet she filled the house. Their son had just come home. This was a small gathering of Zaishan, Riha and the members of the house on a pleasant, pleasant night. They were invited to dinner and they stayed. After they had eaten, someone played music and the old and young couples danced. There must have been crackling magic in the air. No, there was crackling magic in the air. Everything that had gone before had culminated to this point. So, there had to be magic. There had to be stardust. It was hard to believe this journey had started by a meeting in a graveyard. Not the meet cute you’d expect. She was hanging by the invisible thread of a distanced, purple colour sorrow that dissolved into the night that slowly descended on them. He was hiding somewhere in the mountains after having taken off for a trip that had gone askew. And now, in this moment, they suspended the notion that they had lives other than this. That there was returning to a routine, a ramshackle city, a refusing universe. How could there be a life other than this? How could there be a night that wasn’t filled with abundance? A gathering that wasn’t caught in the past or the future? A present that was a present? How could it have been possible that Riha and Zaishan had known each other for less than a day? A premonition had brought her here. Why would someone follow a ghost? A sign? A perplexing symbol? He didn’t think she was crazy. Tonight no one was crazy. Everything beautiful was possible. Everything beautiful was present.

Just like it is present when James tells Jules about his walks around Paris at 4 am. How the statues stand as if they were full of life and vigour just before he’d arrived. How the peeking sunrise is like a painting someone had drawn and left for only James to see. How the city’s gears are being put into motion by the sweepers and bakers – those hardworking souls that awake before daybreak to lay the city out for all those yet to arrive. Jules can see Paris at 4 am and yet, and yet, she’s in London. She’s hearing him describe this to her on the phone. She’s not just visiting Paris as he describes it, but she’s experiencing James’ Paris. She asks him if it will all be the same when she visits and they take a walk around the city at 4 am. No, he says, it will be different. It will be ours.

Isn’t that why sharing your deepest thoughts with someone else makes them more special? They don’t remain yours anymore. They don’t remain unknown anymore. They don’t remain locked anymore. They are filled with weight, they take on the shape of whatever your soul is composed of, they dance from your lips and into the world. They are born. You are born.

Over.

And over.

And over.

And then, you’re not alone anymore. You’re not untold anymore.

  • Riha and Zaishan are characters from a play written by Boy and me that didn’t see light of day. I love them.
  • Jules and James are characters from a podcast called Jules and James that is currently running. I love it.
  • Both are inspired by Before Sunrise that was a great film. I love it, too.