Run with me in my perpetual haste. Meander with me in my devious course. Wander with me in my desperate search. Slalom with me through my discordant vacillation. Wade with me through my hopeless misery. Sink with me in my unrequited love. Spin with me in my eddying emotion. Cruise with me through my youthful fantasy. Flow with me in my surging spontaneity. Swim with me in my divine euphony. Float with me in my phantasmal heaven. Whirl with me in my fragile bubble. Fly with me as I escape reality

Monday, June 30, 2008

Discoveries, this New York Summer

I walked up to the metal railing overlooking the water. The Hudson rolled on, sheer blue and mossy green as far as my eyes could stretch. The sun was setting at the far horizon, saying its leisurely adieu to a dimming world. James Joyce in hand, I leaned on the railing, lost in Stephen Dedalus' simple world. Today was a day of compliments. First for my carelessly hummed song, then for my unruly long hair. From passersby I might never cross paths with again. They evoked a smile, nevertheless. When will it cease, this abject need for acceptance, for appreciation and validation from the world? Will it ever come, a day of peace?

My eyes lazily traced a narrow rickety bridge. At the end of the bridge floated a barge. The barge was unchained. And every moment it spent trying to float away. So pitiful was its freedom. For the barge was prisoner to four tall pillars rising up from the riverbed, allowing it just a constant sway and an occasional bounce. Free! Only nearly. That barge is you. That barge is me. The river is our world. In its meandering whim and turbulent vagaries lie infinite possibility and enchanting vices. And there stand the imposing pillars of society, of rote conditioning and unbending rules. There stand the proud guardians of the right and the wrong.

I could hear music in the distance, from a crowded bar full of weekend revelers. Only the shriller notes and the clang of drums made the distance to me, leaving to my hungry imagination the melody and the mood. I watched a group of teenagers dancing. They took turns to show off their double flips and straight splits, their jealous eyes searching surreptitiously for the passing admirer. I absently looked on at the subtle rivalry as they vied with each other for little glories. It was all unfolding in front of my eyes, the birth of the adolescent ego, the slow demise of innocent pleasure.

I sighed at a couple as they casually fell into step and melted into easy conversation, thanks to their dogs playing cupid between them. I walked by a dog park and felt a rush of affection for my dead dog back home. I wondered what life was like for the senile gentleman leaning on his walking stick. Was it burdensome, his long memory? What did his solitude feel like, satisfied or lonely? I touched the edge of the page I was reading. Suddenly I swelled with gratitude for all the moments of pleasure my books had gifted me. Books obviate people. But much like humans, books make me smile, they make me cry, they please, they hurt, they tempt me only to later desert me.

In a strange coincidence, I had them all today. My book. The water. Music and happy thoughts. Even the rising white moon. But it was missing, the sound of a footstep by my side. It was missing, that warm arm around my shoulder. Can this solitude ever be perfect?
 
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