Scenarios, Abstractions, Ponderings
Sometimes we meet people in little bubbles of our lives, and even though we are trapped in time and space and everything we do seems to have no bearing on the past or future, we feel more free than we have in years. This situation can be both treacherously self-deceptive and wholly illuminating.
Take, for example, a man willing to have an affair for the brief moment in time that he is away from his wife and kids, traveling for his master’s degree, for example. He fools himself into believing that the moral threads of one day are not connected to the next. He fools himself so well, in fact, that he does not even think he is being self-deceptive. When he reaches out to touch another woman, forgetting the softness of his wife and lusting only for the permission that a different woman’s skin can bring to him, he breathes only in the present. Yet in this scenario he can only be exquisitely tormented by his past and, after kissing the other woman, massaging her chest, holding her shoulders, he is forever threatened by the future.
(She, on the other hand, trembling at the thought that this could actually be happening, is tortured only by possibility and so the wave of emotion fades in time. In the moment, though, she wished for long, swollen seconds that she was committed elsewhere, wishes she could have pulled away abruptly instead of lingering, waiting until the last possible moment to withdraw, wishes it hadn’t felt so terribly wonderful. Later, there is no guilt. Only a keen awareness of how other people operate in the world, how it is that bubbles give false permission for self-deception, and how it is that she, thank goodness, chose illumination and walked away.)
Other times the question is not so terrifying and moral. We meet people traveling, stumble into strangers walking down the street, steal second glances at the public library (”Shhhh! No talking!”). The question then is not what to do, but what happened and why did it feel so enthralling? How do we carry that timeless euphoria into our daily lives? Daydreaming only takes us so far. These moments cannot be recreated by any act of the will, but only by a heart full of imagination.
Imagining into dreams, into sleep, where nightly a new world is born into the bubble of R.E.M., and upon waking, slides freely back from whence it came. No second thoughts. No turning back. Only living.