A blink per second, I think, is how fast this cursor seems to be blinking. I feel it called me to write something or anything at all even though I had intended to wait for my friend before I start. Well, we’re past that now.
I do expect to catch up with him soon, there is a strong chance he lies in a sentence further ahead, if we are to visualize this ramble as a walk in the park. Well why not, let’s do that, let me tell you about this walk in the park I am on as I write. I think it is worth describing; you may disagree. Stay with me though.
You’d think I would have started at the edge of the park, but I started quite a distance in. I had walked that distance, mind you, but I wouldn’t really call it a part of the walk, I feel the intention was missing till I was already really deep into the park. I remember some really beautiful sights, must have missed others as well, but it felt like I was being driven by something or someone outside me, even though all appearances would suggest a very determined man walking with purpose. Appearance is such a versatile word.
Anyway, it felt like I woke up suddenly when I saw a park bench and made the first real decision- to sit. I sat for a while but was only stationary in the most ordinary sense of the word. I sat next to a man who looked familiar but I am certain that I had met him for the first time there. I was very rattled with this feeling of being suddenly awake. Since he seemed so equanimous, I wondered if he knew more about the general situation I had found myself in than I did. Hi, who are you?
What kind of a question is that to ask of someone you know nothing about, have never talked to before, and are really relying on to guide you a little! But time never goes backwards and neither do words vocalized. He looked at me strangely, shook his head at the silliness of my question, cracked a faint smile and finally spoke. He explained who he was, but in the most rambling of ways, perhaps it takes such a disposition to be at peace with being in a place that can get very puzzling sometimes. While he talked, I listened, occasionally thinking about myself and how I may appear to him and what to ask him next – he had told me a lot of interesting factoids about himself, but I wanted to pick the best one to follow up on. It seemed like he was a man who had changed a lot over his lifetime, hell it felt like he had changed since I started walking. I wonder if I change that much that fast too?
We talked for a while, the conversation was deeply engaging for a while, but I remembered I had to find my way out of the park. Really? That’s what I wanted? When? I guess I wanted directions to enjoy the park better would be a better way to put it. Sorry about that, I sometimes tend to talk to myself. Back to the story.
I asked him for some recommendations and he happily shared a few paths that he liked. I started to walk on one, I could have said I chose one to walk on but that wouldn’t be honest. Is it even a choice in the absence of any concrete information about the options? I think not.
I kept thinking about the man while I walked, his memory fading faster than I wanted. The fallibility of our memories is the greatest human tragedy, if I had a genie my first wish would be to have a perfect memory, no matter how massive the burden. I went further and further away from the bench I sat on, my legs getting slightly tired and his memory washing away fast, I felt a strange panic swell up inside me. I had to see him again, it wasn’t that I loved his insights or jokes or stories, it was his company I needed. Here’s where I could make a choice.
I could go back to the bench, but he may no longer be there. A more reliable way would be to sit and think deeply about the conversation again, and create a simulacrum of the man in my head- will him into existence, in a way. Would that work though? The reason I need the man isn’t to go over the conversation again, I need his company. I am walking as I am typing this, evaluating my options. In a way, I am hoping that if I keep walking, I will find another bench, another man sitting on it, and we can recreate the essence without recreating the experience. So that is what my walk is about now.
Before we part ways, check out this line from a show I recently watched:
“If I do close my eyes, what is it that I picture years from now? Like Leon said, doesn’t one need to understand that before they’re ready to fight for their existence?”
Hope to see you around, I assume you will be walking too.