When I remember you, you’re a phantom on the other side of the road. I must see the green man before I may get my chance walk away. I’m waiting for permission to extinguish my intermittent thoughts of you.
I hate how the past lingers around me like fog when I walk down this road.
How silently it speaks to me. How it ripples at my resolve. How much, even now it may come-up behind me at any time and cause me to stumble.
I hate how you always pretended you had not noticed. I wish I could have said anything at all that might have stuck to you. Like your ghost clings to my thoughts, and the way your words are still near whenever I’m alone someplace.
I remember watching you blush as the girl on the table danced. You tried so hard not to seem embarrassed. But it wasn’t amusing in the slightest.I had not yet worked out why your reactions irked me.
I can remember that when you asked me to get you some water,I felt I was falling of the edge, and I was sinking so far down, and all my anger for you left me for an instant…
Why was I trying to work you out?
I know it doesn’t matter; but I can remember the way your handwriting curled, and the r pointed upwards.
I know it doesn’t matter.
But I can remember your face when I close my eyes, and sometimes when I open them…and sometimes when I sleep. Although you are just a phantom who has never given me a clue.
I don’t know why I still try to figure you out, or why sometimes my anger grows back.
We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.
Most of the time, most people are not crying in public, but everyone is always in need of something that another person can give, be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to such needs. There are as many ways to do this as there are kinds of loneliness, but all of them require attentiveness, all of them require the hard work of emotional computation and corporeal compassion. All of them require the human processing of the only animal who risks “getting it wrong” and whose dreams provide shelters and vaccines and words to crying strangers.
We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.
If you are looking you can’t find me
because in the silence I am hiding.
No body is trying…
but I am still hiding.