July 25, 2012

As for this silence

My summer thus far has featured a lot of silence. I haven't been making an effort to engage with people. The vast majority of the people I would want to spend time with are away, and I am comfortable spending time with myself, so this isn't too bad. What is wearing me down, however, is my lack of emotional engagement. I shouldn't have to point out that this factor is not necessarily satisfied in tandem with the first. It makes me sad. And because my mind is not immersed in academic affairs or assorted projects, this disengagement has become an incidental subject of frequent rumination.

This evening, I wrote this on a streetcorner.

I need to exorcise this loneliness from my bones,
to reprise the purity I once owned.
For I find myself standing here
with every concrete thing to fear
and not knowing if this is hell or home

Later, I spend an hour reading in a coffeeshop. "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" by Joan Didion. I sip cranberry iced tea until it's gone and then I leave. I drive across the bridge, roll down my windows, play sad acoustic songs by female vocalists until I can feel the chords. The clouds turn pink and blue as the sun sets, but it's out of my sight. My mind wanders back to the boys of my time. I wonder sometimes if I meant something different to them than they meant to me - the fleeting, fervent kisses in cramped cars or en plein air. Was it ever about them? I don't think so. I wish it could have been. Those adventurous, sad, sweet reliefs. But in my silence I feel sad for what was; older, more distanced.

It's odd to know with utmost certainty what has happened. Because high school was a phase of life, and my experiences were my own. And these formative, defining, deeply meaningful experiences are somehow slapped with the label of 'high school experiences.' They are not to be trivialized, yet I feel farther away from them.

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