The First Thing That’s Hard

The thing I miss the most about having the filmmaker at Interlochen is that I had someone here who knew me well; someone who knew more of the full picture, my past, present, and future. We ended our relationship mutually at the end of the semester—a promise we’d agreed to all along—and it has been easy to uphold since he is quite happy where he is and I am quite happy where I am.
But more and more I find myself looking around for somebody and when it comes right down to it, the main criteria for that missing person would be that they know me wholly. I had those friendships in North Carolina but I left. Now I’m on the road for two years and, I suppose, this is the first hard thing about the journey.
I didn’t forsee this. I love exploring new communities, finding my way in, doing what I can, and leaving when my time’s up. Part of transitioning from place to place involves reflecting and putting things in perspective for myself. It helps me close one chapter and begin the next, so to speak, and I’m most convinced of this reflection when I can process it with someone who knows me well.
So I’ve caught myself this past week throwing out filament after filament, as Whitman says, trying to snag someone who knows me well enough to hear me out, support me, and perhaps add to my reflective process. It’s dangerous either way you look at it: I seek someone out and find that the depth of connection isn’t there (simply because of my nomadic circumstance). That’s hard to be hit with over and over again. Or, the other option: I seek someone out and find that the depth of connection could be there, but there isn’t enough time to let it develop. I can then project onto that experience (not helpful) or accept it for what it is.
After a night out at the bar that involved numerous such attempts, on the tail of a week that involved even more attempts, I got home and lay on the couch and stared at the ceiling. I ate a tortilla. I stared some more. There is a violin player here who is basically the most tender, fun, thoughtful person on the planet. And there is no time. If I could describe this feeling it would be the sound of silence after someone has been slapped in the face. It’s dense and empty at the same time; and it’s utterly unforgettable.

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