the one and the other discuss the weather

What is up with this winter, other.

I don’t know, one, but it is a strange one for sure.

I have a bad feeling that this winter is going to be like last winter where I felt so unworthy of spring!

Ah, yes, I remember…you were in a state, one, a real fragile state.

I know! cried the one. What ever will I do if it is like that again?

We’ll make it through together. Please don’t worry, one.

Oh thank you, other, thank you…you are too sweet. Tell me again how you got to be so sweet. Tell me the story. Tell me, other, telllll meeeee!

I took a distance learning course!

Wheee! You are ridiculous, other. Did I ever tell you that?

Yes, one…many times! But now I must go lie down.

Ohhh…do you have a sadness in you today, other?

Yes, one, I do.

Can I help?

Just your being here is helping. The way I feel you listening even when there are no words, one…that means so much.

I’m glad, other, I really am…but this sadness, see, I just want to wring its spiny little neck! I want to banish it!

I appreciate that, one. I really do.

But does it ever go away, other? The sadness…does it…does it ever leave you…

Not really…there are always traces. But it helps to not feel so alone with it.

I like to help you, other. I don’t always understand but it’s okay, right?

Of course it is! You help me so much, one. Now, where is that chocolate bar you’ve been saving for emergencies…

my thoughts dried up so i wrote this instead

When you isolate yourself, you have no one else to blame when things go awry. There is some small comfort in this. It is possible to go days without talking to anyone. This can be a magical combination of your own self-imposed silence and a general indifference on the part of others. Together we can make it work. The woman in the alley enjoys screaming hateful words at her grandson but she is sweet as pie when I say hello. This dichotomy hurts my brain. The alley is loud in the summer. The ladies across the way gun their motorcycles at all hours. The level of their inconsideration for people living together in a confined space staggers me. Small children yell and sing and talk like adults. I brood at the kitchen table. If it weren’t for the swatch of overgrown vegetation threatening to engulf my porch, I would have to see, as well as hear, the denizens of the alley and that I could not bear. Meanwhile, in the plus column, the city installed four solar-powered compacting trash cans on a main street in the neighborhood. I was overjoyed to throw my dog’s poop in them. Then they took one away. It was the most conveniently located one. Why. On another street near my house the city erected an expensive-looking fence in the median. A few weeks later they removed it. Why. Every day I see the thousands of dollars I pay in property taxes hemorrhage out onto the streets in the form of Kafkaesque activities such as this. It pains me. I could make much better use of those thousands of dollars than by funding the erecting and dismantling of fences. Segueing into the employment realm, it’s summertime at work which results in a curious laissez faire attitude toward attendance. I like it but it confuses me. I am always suspicious of it. Yet there is a natural relaxed cadence I cannot ignore, and so I allow it to carry me in its wake. When I feel agitated, I look at the little pictures in the dictionary and this soothes me. Last night I had a pleasant time in dreamland, but I forgot most of it upon waking. I don’t like that. I need to remember my dreams or waking life seems vacant. Do you ever wonder about the nature of friendships? They are curious things. Coming and going, rarely staying. Sometimes they wane; sometimes they wither. Sometimes they fail over the stupidest things. And you wonder if it could have been avoided, but in reality if it was a strong friendship it should have been able to withstand most of the nonsense we manage to self-generate. Which then begs the question of why the friendship existed in the first place. Convenience, perhaps. Boredom. Desperation for human contact [see: possibility of going for days without speaking to anyone, as outlined above]. I have had many friendships through the years, for all of these listed reasons and more. Not many have lasted, but the tiny few that have are worth more than gold. The question is then, do I now need more friends? What purpose would they serve? It gets harder to make friends as you get older. It’s horrible but I find myself more judgmental than I used to be of people when considering them as potential friends. I am also perhaps even more guarded now. Friendship requires time and effort, both valuable resources that I don’t expend lightly. How can you know if it’s worth it. Most of the time I am content to be by myself. I also have a dog now. The ultimate friend. Always dependable, always happy to see you. Can’t go to the bathroom without your help, which is a little weird. Doesn’t talk, which is both good and bad. Sometimes I wish he’d talk, just a little. See, even though I am content by myself, I have this annoying urge to reach out sometimes. It’s irrepressible. Sometimes everything can’t be found in books. Or nature. Most things, yes. But not all. This is the curse of human nature. We are not 100% autonomous. And I am so restless. This incessant unease shadows my every move. The panic. The urge to drop out. The crushing confinement of your own mind. We’re all so spread out. Held together by weakening links. I trip over my own shallow roots and fall face-down in a mucky bog. Roll around and let the clay harden on your skin. Let it cover all that you see as wrong. It feels so good.

i’ve often thought about this…

From Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham:

“It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary. Your life proceeded and you did not even miss him.”

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