Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things we cannot hear, shall not hear, want not to hear, will never hear.

The street is ill lit by the shadows of inner city buildings and the lack of working roadside lampposts. Two young adults are waiting on the street curb, across from a bus stop. They sit a significant distance away from each other, but not enough for one of them to raise verbal concern. Clearly, they are two, but not at this moment. They sit on large duffel bags, their feet dangling in the street. The traffic is calm where they sit -- an occasional car finds them with it's headlights but loses them in the darkness soon after as it passes. Another couple, barely seen in the far distance, appear only as silhouettes as they wave gestures at each other. The moon rises and becomes visible between some of the buildings. The night's cold begins to fill the air.
"Another day spent," the girl sitting on her bag tells the man, on his. Her eyes follow along the cracks of the broken pieces of asphalt in the street.

He glances upward towards her, looking for eye contact. When contact is not found, he responds, "There are better ways to go about looking at it."

The crack ends. She sighs. "Like how? Anyway, was it worth the trade?" she questions.

On his own trail of thought, he ponders, Maybe it's just another day where something hasn't gone wrong. His eyes wander, his mind now comforted by this thought. He readjusts the bag, once a fitting seat, now making him uncomfortable. He's rather uncomfortable. With wit, he exclaims: "There is a trade for everything and everything is worth the trade."

A personal philosophy of his. He's known for his philosophies, although his actions are often hypocritical of them. He believes in all of his philosophies. Once the pride of his apparent richness of thought dissipates, he realizes he wasn't really sure what she meant. "What trade?" he asks, looking up at her again.

Her eyes meet his. Prepared for the question, she begins to express a thought she clearly has been sitting on for some time. "A trade for a more accomplishing day -- a more accomplishing life. A day where you take risks. Taking a chance on some things rather than just sitting around on the sidelines playing it safe."

Looking down, he ponders this for a moment. She feels reassured on her position by his silence, knowing she's talking to a man dedicated to thought, and continues. "Sure, things can go wrong. Things will go wrong. But that's what life's about. Making a point to get out there and try. Think of the great things that could happen!"

He imagines only the things that could go wrong. With a specific bad thing in mind, he thinks to himself, Yeah, this day was definitely better than that. He believes it. This conversation seems to bore him. This isn't anything he hasn't heard before, or at least, he imagines, he hasn't read before.

Their conversation is disrupted by an approaching car. His eyes follow it. As the car passes them by and gets lost in the night, as have all the others, the moon moves higher into the sky partially hiding itself behind a flickering lamppost. A once silent argument taking place down the street by two silhouettes is now faintly audible. His eyes, having lost the car, follow the sound and find the two silhouetted figures making gestures. He makes an attempt to listen in, but cannot make out a word. The cold creeps in a little further. He adjusts his seat, again. She sits still.

He respects her argument and keeps silent, waiting for her to continue. And as expected by him, with no response, she follows in confidence: "Just think. The things that could become, even today!" There is a slight pause between her last words and this next thought that overcomes her: The things that I could become. Her eyes now array, her mind clearly lost in these thoughts. She is beautiful in this moment.

Unaware of her beauty, he begins to think less of her. He thinks of her a little dull to wish for such things, such simple things. Regardless, he continues to entertain the thought. What's the point? he asks himself. What day will come, he continues, when it would actually be worth it to take those risks? His mind is not lost, unlike hers. He knows exactly where his is going. He believes it.
His eyes find cracks left by broken asphalt in the street. Following the path of them, he concludes, It'll have to be one hell of a day. He believes it.
A bitter chill from a breeze finds its way through the maze made by the city buildings and passes him. He shivers and pulls his jacket tighter. She doesn't seem to notice the cold. Suddenly, she blinks rapidly and looks around -- her eyes had been open and staring in a single direction for a while now from being lost and deep in thought. His eyes meet the end of the crack. He sighs. He adjusts the bags beneath him. He is so uncomfortable. Another car finds them and loses them. The distance between the two stays constant. The moon moves a little higher in the sky, escaping from behind the dying lamppost. The night creeps on.
The Argument of the Distance Between Us and the Argument Taking Place Down the Street by Two Silhouettes by Calvin

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