My ambition is low. There's no doubt about that. I am sleepy as I sit here, doing nothing with my time. That's quite all right— though I don't know where this train is taking me, I have to believe that somehow I will figure myself out. Something about the rain falling on the window— something about the trees sprouting up like paint brush thistles— it all has to be a part of me. I believe it. I hear planes go overhead and see the ant-like businessmen in the windows. If it is life they are living, I don't want a part of it. I want to really live, see pointless things, breathe uncharted air. I don't know where I'm going, but it's gotta be better than up there. If I want to fly, I'll do it myself— grow my own wings and be launched by imagination. It is so much sweeter to not know, I think, than to go around seeing the world as something already seen.
To fall asleep suddenly isn't so scary as waking up in an initial fright, being pulled from your sorry state at once & without warning--
where is the comfort in a dream that stops so clearly in the middle,
so surely unfinished, unmended, is it to remain so unresolved?
Is it so helplessly startling forever?
I have woken from some slumbers, too often unwillingly torn out
into the open starkness of my room, some world where my belongings sit and my books stare with knowing eyes.
They seem to say, "we know--"
it is almost like breathing again.
Who knows how long I have been standing here?
I literally say it out loud.
The cars rushing past me sputtering in the dark puddles of rain don’t hear me, and I’m convinced by now that they never do.
What is so important to them? What are they moving towards?
I stand on the bridge and gulp rainy air, petrichor aftertaste. I don’t think of sad things. I think of all things, good and bad.
The people don’t hear me either. Which is a shame; they look just like me, have noses and eyes and hair (with some exceptions). I assume they have working organs within them: hearts, lungs, maybe a liver or two. Their lips move sometimes as they walk. And I hear them talking to themselves when they pass. But I am just another human to them, and they ignore me because of this.
No one knows if it’s still raining after awhile or if the sounds of late and leftover raindrops are finally falling to awaiting surfaces. The bridge’s steel beams above me drop a steady rhythm of them on my jacket— I listen to them because they know that I’m here.
A woman walks by with her wet dog in a purse. She looks at the road ahead of her but not at me. She whispers to the dog because she knows that it’s still there. I feel a drop of rain hit my shoulder and fall down through the creases of my sleeve.
So what is the problem here?
I say it out loud again. I can’t help myself. I want to hear a voice.
I turn around and face the water that stretches below everything. The lights of the city splatter against themselves like they are happy to see each other and dizzy. There is a world below me, I think, and a world around me.
Which is more real?
Which is more real? I say aloud this time.
“Tomorrow will tell”.
A voice breaks my thoughts for a moment. I disregard it as my own. It must belong to me.
“Excuse me? You asked a question— and I’ll tell you something, tomorrow is almost always the answer.” There was a little laugh at the end.
I wouldn’t say a thing like that. I turn around again and see a young man under a bright umbrella.
“Do you always talk to yourself?” he asks.
“I do when I’m on this bridge.”
I realize how stupid that sounds. I don’t even know what bridge I’m on.
Before I realize it I turn my back on the young man and watch the lights of the city dance again on the water. They are still crashing into each other.
I feel the man stand next to me and watch him as he puts his hands on the rain drizzled railing. It was cold to the touch but who would wear gloves in the rain.
He didn’t say anything after that. Neither did I. Not out loud, at least.
Out across the water within the little halo of light a streetlamp provided, an elderly couple stood embracing. I looked to their reflection on the water and saw them upside down, embracing in the same way.
The strange man stood next to me and I looked at the water dance feeling that there was only one world. I had only this thought. Only this answer to give.
I looked at my watch. It was already tomorrow.