Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Caught Up In The Company of my Collapsing Consciousness. From Fernando. Three.


I am sorry to hear about your brother. I don't recall you speaking of him much before but I suppose a thing like that just tends to sit in a fixed point in one's mind. It doesn't come up in your daily thoughts because it neither worsens nor improves; it never changes. It is during this season that I feel the tug of others most often, most deeply. My own brother is far away, his own wife- a family. I expect him to call; he always does. He's very thoughtful, Miguel. He's always been the one everyone turns to, always the one Mother asked for advice, looked at with proud eyes full of adoration. I believe I confused her. She always looked at me edgewise, worried. I think she saw my loneliness as a reflection of her own, something she didn't need to be reminded of. She felt my loss and I think she felt somehow responsible for it. Without any kind of focus, I became a prisoner to my own emotions. I might have thought it normal, my secrecy, my silence had Miguel not been so goddamned perfect. I don't resent him for it. On the contrary, he is one of the better people I have ever met. He always has a kind word, dedicated to his work on a quickly dying newspaper. He is a great father and husband- all things I will never be. Not because I am incapable of finding (again) anyone willing to marry me but because I am incapable of acting as though what I want is a normal life.

There is something to be said for passion in one's work, surely. I may not have a comfy, high paying job or even a low paying job I am passionate about but my work lives outside of the drab daily. My writing lives beside me, as alive as any woman who may sleep by my side (present company excluded). It doesn't ask, it demands to be given top priority in my life. Without it, I am awash, at sea, at a complete loss. I lose the ability to see myself from another perspective. Without it, I am nothing. Everything that is important to me, everything I hold dear- I express with my words.

I spend days caught up in the company of my own collapsing consciousness, cowering beneath the pages I have written. Perhaps I am delusional; maybe it's something your brother and I have in common. Perhaps I will live and die- a slave to words- without them ever offering me anything in return. Or, it could be that I am dooming myself to a life less whole, a life devoid of other luxuries. But, I know that words give me things in return: your words as they sound whispered quietly, almost mumbled beneath my breath. The sounds of them, tracing their shapes with my lips and tongue- these are the gifts that words give me and I give my thanks by giving my life to them.

Your words and thoughts echo through time and space and find me a slave to their rhythms. I sit in utter silence and stare at their shapes sliding softly down the length of your letters, S's curved just so and little curly loops on your M's. I see you as well, skipping about the edges of my thoughts. I notice the way a girl's hair shines in the sunlight and I imagine you standing next to me, noticing too and noting my noticing but not saying a word. And I know with a brief
glance and a smile that we both see beauty in every detail. I try to recall instances when things like this actually happened in real life but I have an increasingly hard time separating our letters from reality. I suppose that is nothing out of the ordinary, though.

The sun is sinking in the sky behind me; sapphire clouds glow with bright orange hues. I think of you as I often do in times when the things around me change so drastically and I remain so endlessly and dramatically the same. I think of you on the road with your Mother, the two of you quiet and contemplative, the pity for your poor brother hanging in the air, saturating the silence with an ever present loss. But there is an understanding as well, a kinship between you two. I have such a vivid image of your mother though I have no actual basis for this. I suppose it is like something out of a book written by a young English woman, such gentle propriety and comfort in silence. I imagine your brother trying awkwardly to communicate something that he himself doesn't truly understand, and giving up- his gaze aimed out the window and his mind clearly elsewhere entirely. Your descriptions of his postcard, his painting, have lingered about my mind these few days that I have been contemplating a response, distracted so heavily by the photograph you sent. You look slightly wiser than I remember, perhaps just a bit less innocent. You have a beautiful melancholy in the way you hold your head up which is punctuated by a slight glint- a slyness in your eye. I try to imagine what someone who didn't know you would think of this photograph, though it seems that it's more like trying to separate you from my own impressions and biases. There is no doubt to your beauty, but I wonder how much I see because I want to and how many of the subtleties of your personality are actually conveyed.

I wanted to tell you how immensely honored I am to be a part of your perfect memory to replay in hopeless hours. Though, sometimes that perfect memory calls forth in me the most heavy lonliness. I am delighted to be the soul that is capable of balancing your own.



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