Thursday, November 06, 2008

Being There

This, I imagine, is how it begins.


An entire day spent in silence, readjusting a junk sofa; laying down new rugs and wiping vomit from the old ones.

This is what you never wanted; what so many of you fear.

It is alone.

Not the adjective and not the adverb, but rather the thing itself. It is, for lack of a better description, the genesis of a solitary noun.


It is… orange leaves outside of a window.

Sirens wailing towards Devon.

The gurgle of a seldom used fountain; the collapse of a soap dish unable to carry its burden alongside the tiled bathroom wall.


It is the sight and the sound and smell of autumn; everything falling and crunching and wailing to its own chord.


It is beautiful and sad. It is solitude with little more than a waning desire to be otherwise.


It is giving up.


It is the nauseating understanding of difference; the realization that, hermit or not, there is a profound difference between having the choice of company (youth) and none at all (present).


And it pushes on your chest, dripping your lifeline into the pit of your stomach, pounding to the beat of old memories and moments. Laughs and pranks and walks and sundry other moments where you were not — by any superficial definition of the word — alone.


But time is a lion, leaving in its wake a path of beautiful destruction.


People grow. They marry. They have children. The children grow.


Everyone older and older, their faces dropping from the only circle you’ve known. And so it goes: you are alone, in the middle of everything.


God forbid you should ever wake up to realize what I have: that there’s seldom a need for a telephone. No need for stationery and blank CDs. No need for vocal chords or complete dinette sets.

You will stay where you are while the world spins on; stopping and demanding you dance at their convenience. And yet: otherwise forgetting your face; your name; your voice.


And that, perhaps, is your problem. Your Achilles heel, as it were.

You are always there.



Waiting and helping. Helping and waiting. Like a piece of furniture that brings comfort after a long day, with scarce occasion for reciprocity.


But when the world does indeed comes crashing down — as it most assuredly will — and your ears ache with the sort of silence that only tinnitus knows.

No one — no one — will be there to hear you scream. No one will rub your feet or bring breakfast in bed. No one will answer their phone or call for random hello’s.

And this, I imagine, is the replicating middle. The climax to a story with no denouement except for the endless repetition of the silence; the solitude; and the fury.

But the question remains:

How does it end? How do you break out of the cycle and rebirth yourself into the happy happy joy joy of the faces around you?


It is the hardest feat of them all. An action so Herculean in effort that you can scarcely imagine the thought.


You will have to turn to someone you love and say, anguish dripping from your cheeks, that, no

I cannot be there for you.

Not ever again.


And until you accomplish this one, great disaster of your life, there is only this:


the beginning, the middle and the end – consistent only in their unraveling.

7 comments:

ds said...

jeeze - just when I was almost not gonna kill myself tonight. well, that settles that. I got a mouth full of gun oil.

david said...

This may well be the most remarkable set of photographs you have given us. I'm still working on the words.

XOXO said...

I wish there was something I could do...

Jonas said...

You are not alone. You are loved.

M@ said...

I like how that mountain is taking a leak.

Stacy said...

alone-ness is not the same as loneliness. sometimes I envy those who are unencumbered by restraints of togetherness. Another freedom. Do I recognize Crater Lake in some of these beautiful pictures?

Blue Bag Horse said...

Heya kiddo. Apparently, I don't have your email or phone, so contact me. -Donaldson