There is a split second when we walk into a room made up predominately of strangers, where our brains make their best attempt at studying the tone of the atmosphere, and gauging how and where we, the outlier, will fit within it; a game social fight or flight.
Though, in a situation where we have less to gain, we come through with less to lose. Deep down, we know how fleeting, how transitory the moments within these gatherings are. And how the limits of time will stop us, in most cases to our unknowing advantage, from reaching a level of connection beyond an amicable acquaintance. So we flip cups, cut slices, pour bubbles, and make a mutual agreement to soak up whatever we can find to be a sincere and collective part of a passing instance. This agreement gives us the courage to let go in front of those who don’t know us in a light other than the one in which we’ve just met, and we make a choice to reflect the most open side of ourselves into what is a finite space in time.
All of a sudden you came into my head, and with you came the thoughts, wishes and desires that don’t like to think too much of, now all this time since what we were has passed. I lie down, in an air bed at 2am on New Years Day, and staring at the foreign ceiling, think about all the things youth and fear stopped us from telling one another. Things that, if said now, might not mean as much as if they’d been said all the way back then. Things that we only knew we felt after absence gave them time to reveal themselves. I don’t know whether to be pleased or disappointed. Maybe more time together would have added a layer too familiar, too complacent, to our story.
There are too many maybes.
This has left me feeling very displaced, unsure of how to move forward. I usually use my career as the spearhead when thinking about my sense of direction; that doesn’t wash this time. In a societal phase of new beginnings, I think of all the stories we’re yet to resume, and complete. I have no doubt how important you are, but that doesn’t take me any closer to a clarity from the passivity I feel when I think about what to do next, or what to say. I hope that in time, I can turn a sense of helplessness into response, but I can’t settle on whether that would be a wise idea. After all, what good would it do to change our circumstance?
Eventually, I come back to the night. I stand up and out, and lay my visions of our future back in the blessed unrest I’ve become relatively accustomed to. If I can keep hold of what I know is safe enough for me to hide, I can remain grateful to still have memories substantial enough to look back on fondly, when I give myself permission to. But, in those same moments, I can’t help but hope, more often than not, that at least one of the futures will one day be realised, for fear of losing the memories to distance, time, or submission.