“Do you know what is “Saudade”?” He asked.
“Not Really! I’ve read it somewhere though”, she responded, scribbling with her toe on the ground, lost in melancholy.
“It is a deep longing for something or someone – that is invoked through a song or a letter or even an object.”, he responded.
“Hmm…”, she said – still trying to bury her toe on the tiled floor.
“I have always identified with the feeling. I am surprised the Portuguese had a word for it.”, he continued.
“Nice…”, she continued. Her toe had begun hurting a little. She didn’t mind.
Not to be taken aback by uninterest, he gleefully continued, “You see, the Portuguese were sailors. They would always stay at sea. Away from their homeland and from their homes and always at the cusp of uncertainty. The sails of their lives entangled them. But they were romantics at heart. They carried with them a bit of the dark clouds and the storms. And the longing for home. That’s Saudade.”
She suddenly looked up, she could see the excitement in his voice as he effortlessly explained melancholic longings to her.
“Why are you talking about Saudade all of a sudden?”, she finally asked.
“No reason really. It’s basically a sense of longing for happiness that was a part of you. I don’t think many people can feel that way. It’s an old soul thing I guess.”, he smiled back.
“I know you can relate to it.”, he added.
“A little too much, I guess.”, she said as she went back to her toe and the ground.
“Well, you shouldn’t be sad. It’s not a bad thing you care. It’s not a bad thing to miss someone till it hurts you physically.”, he wasn’t letting go of the conversation.
“I care too much and that’s a huge problem. I am too sensitive, maybe?”, tears welled up in her eye.
“Sensitive people care when the world doesn’t because we understand waiting to be rescued and no one showing up. We have rescued ourselves, so many times that we have become self-taught in the art of compassion.”, he retorted.
And then came the spiel, that made her forget what she was doing. He said,
“But then life becomes a game of circumstance.
Sitches change. Our illusive rescuers change. But down in the ditch, it’s the same old us.
When a man stops expecting anything out of anyone, they say he’s the happiest.
But someone needs to tell them, indifference does not equate happiness. It never has, it never will.
But ours is not the ordinary indifference. No no! Wouldn’t life be boring if that were the case?
Our indifference borders on insouciance. But melts away when it comes to people. Our compassion battles our poco-curantism and leaves us in a lurch.
We still get hurt that there was no rescuer – when we were aware of this – before we entered the situation.
This is the cost, mon amie.
The cost that invokes Saudade.”
As she lifted her head to finally face him, she noticed he wasn’t there anymore. How could he? He was gone for months. Probably up there, romancing the angels with his words. He wasn’t there anymore.
He was a memory. He was her saudade.