Eventually the isolation and the space would get to him. His thinking became grander and more extravagant, as if to fill the limitless skies and pastures that surrounded him. He wondered at his past life, the waking, the walking, the laying down to sleep. How had so much time passed, with so many complex and emotional and beautiful beings around, without there being great joy and tragedy and hope and fear on an daily, or even hourly basis?

His daydreams were feverish; cross-country motorcycle rides with a girl he barely knew: possible. Asking another out: easy. Shotgun marriage: Why not? Why wait, why skirt any line, why tiptoe around when there was so much to do, so much noise to make, the blaze could go out at any minute, why hide and bide, and save anything for anytime but Now?

But compared to his nightdreams, the day ones were playful, small and unserious. Some nights he would awake wide-eyed, jarred and with a low-temperature sweat. One time her dead father asked him if he loved her. He said he did and would. How was this possible? Another teased him mercilessly where he was most vulnerable, in his own mind. All the right things said, all the lingering looks and touches…

But back in ‘Real Life’, when he returned, things eventually returned as well: to Normal. The norm a dampening blanket on the senses. Variation from mean minimized, either by self or by circumstance. No one else seemed to notice. That they were slumped by invisible weights, crushed by the sheer force of normalcy. The need to be normal, to not stand out or sound weird or seem crazy. Bushes ringed by clearly delineated footpaths, from all the beating around. Who even knew what was in those bushes anymore? The worst thing to happen, the stepping on of toes. What if Life was offensive? People smell sometimes, all of them. People feel and think offensive things. Why act as if life were not absurd; absurdly unfair and offensive to some strange sense of Justice from who knew where? Why take oneself so seriously, at all times, in all places? The home he returned to was as strange as the one he’d left had felt to him when he had first arrived there. Now a stranger in his own land; a strange urge to build and dig new wells. Dig deep and long and hard.

(That’s what she said.)


~ by justinhong on November 12, 2010.

One Response to “Sanity”

  1. i like this. shotgun marriage: why not?

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