Monday, December 10, 2007

The desert

So, what have you been doing? What have you been up to? We haven't seen you in so long? Those are the questions I get now. I've pretty much intentionally dropped out of society. Why not? I don't seem to fit in any way, anywhere. When I do get out I find myself lapsing into my old way of being quiet, watching, attempting to be bemused by what's around me but it's just like watching reruns. You know where it's all going to end, so what's the point? Life's a lot of wasting time...

I've been living life, is my answer, the real answer, the true answer, with all its joy and sorrow and hurt and hope and disappointment and maybe even a little bit of wisdom thrown in for good measure, and that seems to throw people even more than a well-intentioned lie meant to spare their feelings.

So I try to tell them. Tell them about the desert, someone urges me. Tell them about the wolves. There were no wolves. They were coyotes, I correct them. And elk and deer and antelope. I tell them, because the limelight is shining on me, though I wish it weren't, but how do you explain it anyway? You don't. You can't. It's either in you already, or it's not, and it's not my job to try to get you to understand. There was a time, not too long ago, when it seemed all I ever did was try to explain things. But no more. You either get it--got it--or my time is futile.

How do you explain waking up to nothingness and everything at the same time? And wandering in the emptiness without knowing where you're going, or where you'll be that night? How do you explain simple food, and how good it tastes because you're hungry, and not because it's the time society tells you it's time to eat? How do you explain bathing in a gas station restroom or not shaving or living in clothes with yesterday's or three day's ago dirt on them? Or when you pull into a town, of being in a crowd, so pretty and dressed out in their rugged outdoor gear, and being separated by the way you look and scruff on you jaw and the dirt on your well-worn traveling clothes and boots? How do you explain the visceral electricity of rounding a bend, looking up, and seeing a hundred hand prints painted on a wall hundreds of feet up by people a thousand years ago? How do you get someone to understand that's how you felt weeks ago and how you felt just yesterday? You can't do that in an office or standing in someone's kitchen at a party or even in an email or on a blog.

It's time to move on. It is so time to move on...

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