Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a Thought

Recently I've been thinking about a lot of things and watching the world pass by. It's interesting what you notice when you see beyond what's directly in front of you. For example, I was eating lunch with my mother earlier today and she commented on my silence. She admonished me for not speaking and asked what was on my mind. No matter how many times I said "Nothing" she didn't believe me, even though that was the truth of the matter. Have you ever had one of those blessed moments where all was quiet in the mind and spirit and you were content just to watch others live their lives? This has been happening more and more often to me and I'm not quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

People are... Have you ever heard the expression "Truth is Stranger than Fiction"? (Exchange Truth for Reality and you've come close to what I mean.) I watched and listened in on those sitting around my table: one table was filled with day laborers who were speaking quickly in Spanish, another had a young couple with their little girl who were about to go meet the girl's parents to visit, yet another table had a group of friends who hadn't seen each other in a while (I could tell by the way they spoke, testing the waters with old jokes and remembrances). There was one table that interested me most of all; a few tables down from mine there was a man who was sitting alone. It was apparent that he'd been sitting there for quite a while by the way he fidgeted and the waitress's frequent check-ins. His eyes flickered towards the entrance of the restaurant every so often, as if he was waiting for someone to arrive. After a while, he gave a sigh and placed some money on the table, paid his check and left.

A thousand scenarios filtered through my mind as to why he was there, who he was waiting on and why they never showed... but they were swept away in the face of a personal epiphany. No matter your age, gender, ethnicity or location we all want someone to be there for us when we need them. We want someone to interact with yet we're seldom willing to put ourselves out into the world to do so. When you're young it's easy to make friends; you're forced to be around a myriad of people your age for (on average) 7 hours a day for 8 months. This kind of environment forces bonds to be created and both friendships and rivalries flourish in this constant interaction. But what happens when you graduate and your friends all go off to pursue their dreams? Everyone goes on their own ways; to college, to work, to lounge... but when you're out in the world, your friends are reduced to those who stuck around where you live and those you interact with on a semi-frequent basis. For the worker, this is their coworkers and employees. For the collegiate, this is their fellow students. It is rare that we keep the same friends after such a schism.

And that's the major problem; because we know such events are on the horizon it causes us to do one of two things, both of which hasten the eventual departure. The first is that we cling hard onto them and try to keep in touch (at least) every few days and act as if nothing has changed when it is so glaringly obvious that it has. The second is that we start to drift from them, trying to lessen the eventual blow when you realize one day that several months (if not years) have passed and you can't even remember the last time you two talked, both of you thinking the same thing...

However, there are those out there who will complete you. They will make your life so wonderful and precious... the problem with this is that you need to find them. More often than not, you put yourself and your happiness on the line, only to receive a consolation prize. After so many of these 'prizes' and rejections... well, it's not hard to see why the world is so cold and bitter. But even with these detractors, there is still hope.

In the end all we want someone to hold at night; to stay with for the rest of our lives. In the immortal words of Captain Henry P. Crowe: "You will never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!" Fitting words, if you ask me.

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