To each their own

(Courtesy NYTimes)

(Courtesy NYTimes)

It might be the gentle snow swirling to the ground outside my window. It also may be the numbing warmth of the feather blanket I’m cloaked in. I’m feeling optimistic today… and that worries me. Is that pessimistic to say that?

Oh well.

So what’s on my mind? It has been a while since I really sat down and put to words what is going through my head. It might be easier to list what isn’t going through my head. There are always ideas. My ideas are apparitions. They come to me in the dark and appear from nothingness. I sense their outlines, the way that blackness slowly gives way to something tangible. From emptiness, form is born. Vivid. Heart stopping. Curious. And then they disappear. Gone. Lost in an unreachable void…

But eventually you reach for them again. Painfully you pry into your subconscious. You  rummage around frantically. To no avail at first. Then, just when hopelessness abounds, the idea is back.

It was there the whole time.

Have you ever thought about the passing stranger? I have. Their story is as remarkable as your own; probably even more so. The lips that form the present smile were the same lips that said goodbye for the last time on that still autumn morning. Those are the lips that believed. The ones that hurled hopeful words into the sky, hoping that somebody — anybody — could ease their pain.

They are the lips that kiss. That lie. That curse. That offer words of encouragement and words of sympathy.

They are lips that can tell their story. It is the story that they know so well, but understand so little of. It is an epic story. A tragic story. A comedy. A romance. It is a little bit of everything all at once. It is a NY Times bestseller. The critics applaud it. Unanimously.

I have a habit of forgetting that each interaction I have is with someone who is living a life as real as my own. It’s certainly a thought to “sonder.” We all worry. Love. Hate. Feel the acidity of jealousy festering in our heads. We get bored. We’re entertained. Sadness. Happiness. Pain and tranquility. After a tempest there is always the calm.

It doesn’t take long to hear a story. Everyone wants to tell it. The human story is painstakingly dramatic, but it is also infinitely romantic. Life without both is like an ocean without water. Every story has high points. It also has low points. Stories of triumph and defeat.

So what’s the point of me writing this? I might not even be sure. It could be to get someone who reads this to inquire about a stranger’s story. Maybe I wrote it to give you time to reflect on your own improbable story.

I wrote it selfishly.

This is what’s important in my story right now. This is today’s page. This is my idea before the apparition dissipates. It is about to dissipate though. I would like to get down all I have to say bef…

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