I Know Now How It Feels When The Dead Lives
The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.*By accident--call it adverse serendipity--I read my name in one of the journals of an old friend. The anecdote involving me was appended as a footnote on a more recent entry.
That friendship had been one of those that bursted with so much color and delight, that then gave in to fading. That you couldn't figure why and you tried reviving the liveliness only to end up with disappointment. And you know now nothing about it will be the same. You know now there's no more chance of making it any better.
Reading my name, I shivered, imagining the distance not just of time, but of emotions and the way we see each other. I was there, under heap of new friends, circumstances, extremely radiant joys and darker tragedies. That act of him remembering me, what I used to be, even for a mere moment, what we used to be, what was then--what was then doesn't exist now. Memory's a completely new planet.
I want to believe now that most good friendships are meant for the breaking. And that is not a fact to be sad about. I want to believe these are people that make your story move forward--sure they are a part of you, but you must not cling onto them. They have their own stories to continue.
And thus till now the theory remains relevant, what this world requires of us is just attention. The best laughs I've had are with that person. He did his part: he made me feel like I had something important to say, that I had a funny a joke; he introduced me to Anne Carson and David Mack.
The force of the written word. Seeing my name inscribed, bringing to mind all that sign carries with it. Conscious of how he was seeing it. And now this feeling of needing the proper expletive to express (or in truth, to hide) this strange furious sensation of knowing what was then doesn't exist anymore, but can't find it.
* Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams. In a chapter where the texture of time in this particular world "happens to be sticky.... Individual people become stuck in some point of their lives and do not get free."