The American Friend (Wenders, 1977)

You’ve grown like a wiry reed, hardly recognizable from the fidgeting glint in my eye that I remember.

I’m sure you weren’t told everything. I’m sure my vacancy opens like a moldy hollow whenever my memory strikes you. It’s strange, when I think of that time, I remember being dizzy. I remember my scabby fumblings, broken glass, and interrupted embraces. It all looks like an unfinished oil painting of a beautiful landscape, but it sags and melts in the heat. I was like a child then, my face pressed against the glass and wishing for happy endings. All of our laughter from then, plays like the scratchy tones of a rusted violin.

Sometimes, I rest my ear against the nearest wall, and I swear I hear your muffled humming while you play, and now you’re a man, a beast of youth, a tightly spinning top crashing into whatever gets in your way. Then I remember my pale desperation, and the oath I scrolled with my scattered fingers. I remember you as a scrambled spark of yellow hair, and the mistakes I made to keep you safe and warm.

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