I talked to my friend JJ on the telephone today, I broke my long abstinence from the telephone and what came rushing in was the voice of a real live human friend, from far away, not through the e-mail or the g-mail “chat”, but a real tempered human voice for laughing and having things in common with, and setting myself, with him, apart from the rest of the world, in scattered crackling telephone time. My friends are important to me, more important than I can even say. I may not be capable of falling in love, I may have boundaries like a chain-link fence buried ten feet underground and set in concrete, can’t nobody tunnel under that, I may not believe in dating and the idea of romantic intimacy, these days, may turn my stomach like too much freezer burnt ice-cream, but my friends- my friends are like glowing stars in an endless expanse of nothing. I am addicted to the rhythms of their hopes and thoughts and feelings, they are the real-life living stories to which I am anchored like an aluminum skiff to a set of buoys. The fact that they exist, these humans whose lives are so like mine, who are sifting through the great bin of western civilization in the exact same moment as me, shoulder to shoulder, in search of some small kernel of truth- it is the only thing, sometimes, that gives life any color at all. Their small victories are mine, as are their frustrations, their unexplainable sadnesses, their mystery sicknesses- they ARE me, and I am them, and we are like a great idea, moving so subtly as to be nearly invisible, except to each other, and it is from each other that we get the permission to exist at all. And I sing myself to sleep with their narratives, with the broken staccato of their sentences, moving their small dramas between my fingers like the beads of a rosary.

(Tara I totes bit yr rosary metaphor.)

5 thoughts on “telephone

  1. hi stranger,
    thank you for your advice! i’m glad that a few people still see my photographs, although i’m not sure i’d call myself an artist any longer.
    i just finished east of eden and this reminds me of timshel, and of the carefree society and my own friends. i don’t think i’ll stray to the stark beauty of alaska anytime soon, but if we’re perchance in the same place i think i would like nothing better than coffee with you. i feel like you’re one of a few people i’ve biked past every day of my life and somehow i have missed really seeing you at all.
    i hope you’re warm and well! keep writing; i’m so fond of your words.

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