Friday, July 23, 2010

It doesn't come when you look for it.

At some point we all revert back into the old days, when a million stars twinkled imaginatively in the sky and each one was someone's lost beloved, a piece of soul shining every night to reassure those who were left behind. When we'd prop eager hands under eager chins and listen to stories, pretend to sleep for half an hour just so the teacher would let us splash paint on cheap-paper-covered-plastic-canvas and allow us to call it a goat, a cat, an apple, a chair, our Mommy. In a good way, nothing was ever entirely one thing. You could slap someone for not sharing, and then be best friends in two minutes. When your parents fought, you would command your father's attention, urge it with a desperateness "Baba! Baba! Babaaaaaaa!!", tap him on his shoulder or pull on his sleeve, something he couldn't ignore and when he said "Yes Baba?", you'd ask an inane question or two, and feel self-satisfied believing you'd done all you could to stop the fight and anger.

Then the magic steadily faded, the stars were merely a collection of gases waiting the end of their own time as we're waiting the end of ours. And shooting stars were enough to make people swallow cyanide. We became old enough to tell our own stories, old enough to make them sordid, old enough to regret them and not tell them to anyone in our shame, let alone little children (as we once were) with their hands under their chins. Old enough to see the flaws in the pillars we once saw as invincible, to become them. When we unearthed the masterpieces we had created- after the pretend-nap that somehow turned real and our teacher gently shook us awake, groggy eyed as only kindergartners can be after twenty minutes of sound sleep- we saw how it was neither an apple, nor a cat. It was nothing like those, nothing in between. Nothing, but a blob of cheap, bright poster paint that was preserved only because your mother kept it in a plastic folder and forgot all about it. And sleep? That came and went, came and went- easily, fitfully, restlessly, dreamless. What had once been seamless became a hotchpotch of  adjectives, with the key one missing acutely: peacefully. You grew old enough to see the patriarch in your father, then old enough to hate him, then old enough to channel your resentment into things that would annoy him enough to fire up his already tempestuous anger just to test the limits and toe the lines. And when he was no more, you were old enough to handle it in your own strangely sad way of growing up too soon for all the wrong reasons and all the wrong people.

Then, when you were finally old enough to consider why things happened as they did, why your father was the tyrannical patriarch he was, why it wasn't his fault, why it wasn't simply black or white, why there were endless lines and maps that lead to the same place and yet took you on different rides, why you were part of the one person you had hated with all the force of a child in a hurry to grow up. When all that came to be, there simply was nothing left to talk about, the doctrine of Nothing Is Ever Entirely One Thing became maddening.

And then you reverted back into the memories of when a million starsouls shared one home.

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