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Funny how people meet. All these months I haven’t seen this guy before. He just shows up right on the other side from me and does what I usually do: dip in and dive, all the way across the pool, lap after lap, all the time, without stopping. It almost seems awkward: as if we were on a secret date that occurred totally unintentionally. It happened like few things ever happen in life, not even when all the careful planning, tiptoeing, arranging, compromising, pleading and oh-please-don’t-you-hurt-my-feelings-ing is executed in the most minute of details, and with the most carefully heartbreaking of efforts. Here we are: him and me, two slowly moving parcels of human flesh and thought, immersed in bluish fluid, passing each other smack dab in the middle point of the pool in an unusually well-orchestrated contrary motion. I go, then he goes; we pass each other in the middle like two trains, forever riding in opposite direction on eternally parallel tracks, never meant to cross each other’s way.
I almost feel like waving at him, but I don’t. I almost feel like smiling at him, but I don’t. It’s better this way: and as you all agree, it’s always tricky to show that one cares, isn’t it? If one does, before one knows that, one is putting oneself in a vulnerable position, doesn’t one? So here we go, shuttling to and fro, fully immersed in fluid, and fully immersed in being what we are, doing what we do. We dive and we emerge, each on their own track, each in their own thoughts. Sometimes each of us is coming from opposite side. Sometimes from the same side, and then I am racing him like crazy although it’s obvious that he is a much better swimmer -- and it makes me feel so much better about myself every time I manage to get to the finish line before him. No explaining is necessary and no discussions are held, no word exchanged; as if we agreed from the very beginning of this unusual encounter that Antoine Saint-Exupery is right, and speech is nothing but source of all misunderstandings. He does his thing, I do mine, in perfect harmony. And as we both know well, each of us is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by our bodies: that is the one of very few things to be sure of.
Am I attracted to this man? No. Do I long to know who he is, and what he does, what are his dreams like, where he is from, why is he here and/or what wine he drinks with his dinner? None of the above. I just think this is a most remarkable of miracles that we both are here. And I am so eternally grateful that for a few fleeing minutes I can get this one thing from a total stranger who encroached on me in my secret hiding place, a thing I don’t have any strength left in me to ask from the dearest of my friends. It almost feels like I knew him all my life without knowing him at all -- because for a brief moment I am certain that he understands this one thing I keep trying and failing to explain: how does this feel to be me.
wtorek, 04 marca 2014, bigapple1