In the last few days, I’ve spent countless hours watching people, seeing how they interact and speak with other, the gesticulations and turns of phrase that lead to familiarity. I’ve been quiet, almost uncomfortably so, just to listen and watch, to experiment and experience something akin to the present moment.
And in what can only be described as a metaphysical nightmare, I’ve found myself watching others, then watching myself, floating hazily along the surface of perception, then diving into the murkiness of turmoil. I’ve always dreamed in third person, resolving my acts and thoughts, to the point that doubt crept in and camped furtively – and now the master of a small community. Whose life am I leading, I wonder, as it certainly can’t be my own. My life is dull, muted, unattached, yet this person I watch, she’s charming and smiling and at ease in her own skin as though nothing horrible or awful has touched her, yet approaches others with a friendly grace only learned from experience. Where I haven’t heard anything in seemingly years, she sees everything, eyes wide open, the shapes an and sights with delicately curved edges and vivid hues. For her, danger is far away because it does not exist; for me, danger is far away because I hide behind locked doors. For me, I equivocate anything, everything to avoid disappointment; for her, she fights the necessary battles yet avoids bloodshed. She is my hero whereas I’m just one in the crowd of people who never thought to believe.
And so it is my birthday, an auspicious occasion full of celebration and condolences, and I approach with such an unsoiled voice that it is my cross to bear.