otherness

It’s the proximity I celebrate. The nearness to the flames singeing my supple flesh. I delight when it’s stoked by a wind I don’t anticipate. It’s a free-falling, middle of the night realization. It’s not if but when. A train arriving into a station I’d contented myself not to see. It’s the precipice of forever, and I’m standing with trust and open arms. But I don’t dare yet fall.

Because it’s the otherness that keeps me here, glued to the horizon. I await the mast of your ship, the telltale whip of your sails. Little words, that’s all I need. It’s the “my”. It’s the “we”. It’s that what’s yours is mine is yours and mine alone. It’s that the fire only exists here in this little place where the wind whips in that way it does. The proximity, as one might expect, is contained only to this small pocket of the universe and then it dissipates into the vigor of the rest of the world like a paltry wave.

I claw at the closing walls of each day, willing them to let me breathe free of the stifling air. Somewhere inside this frenzied vessel, I know that it’s not important to get to where I’m already going any faster. In fact, in the still moments of every day when I find the clarity to marvel at my good fortune, I will myself to sit very still. I don’t want to tap the glass, to break the spell. I don’t want anyone to know that I somehow crept my way into near perfection, lest they unearth me again. But there’s some intrinsic part of me that curses the slow turn of the world, the little rules that bind us here. The hopeless romantic in me frenzies to push everything else aside and run, with abandon, towards that thing we covet.

It’s the waiting in cars, the knowledge of years, it’s the little promises that jump start my heart and are never kept. It’s “my”, it’s “we”. I’m dying to know the logistics of forever – an unknowable, luxurious, frivolous craving. I know this. And yet this otherness keeps me here.

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