You run into certain people in life. Some, you’ll never see or come into contact with again, some you will, but they continue to have a lasting effect on you. Sometimes, as much as you wish you’ll see these people again, you won’t, and for some time you’ll have to live day by day, rethinking your conversation over and over. A simple exchange of words and opinions dramatically affecting the way you live life, and the way that you see it.
Cycling home with the bitter wind in my face, confronted with cold, harsh reality. Back to normal.
Wanting to help people is a beautiful thing, she assures me. It’s not simply the words spoken, but the demeanour in which they’re slowly contemplated. Every word uttered has a precision to it; every syllable a meaning, every sentence an opinion, every paragraph a purpose.
The gifts you receive from your mother as stocking fillers are perhaps the most thoughtful; presents which manage to touch your inner 10 year old, despite yourself being a 25 year old semi-professional, far beyond the realm of the average 10 year old. You’re clinging on for dear life as the world rotates a little faster than you can counteract, a never-ending, impossible treadmill. Holding an R2-D2 hot water bottle cover in your hands as you unwrap it on Christmas morning, knowing that, 15 years ago you’d have loved this. But all it carries now is a certain attachment and sentimentality, but that’s all. As much as it doesn’t fit in the here now, it fitted well in the there and then.
When we’re parents, one day, we’ll think back to this conversation. We’ll look at something and think, ‘yes, that’s something our 32 year old son/daughter would love’. No, it’s not. It’s what they would have loved, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful, just a little bit useless.
If there’s one thing I was able to pass on to seemingly infinite wisdom at the tender age of 25, it was going it alone in a different country. Something I applauded the woman for. She saw it as a great opportunity; for how was she to know what she didn’t want, without spending some time out of her comfort zone, experiencing new environments she hadn’t know existed? Will she return? Who knows. But, that’s the point; the poetic and melancholic point to it all.
It’s the people who pass you by that can have the most significance in the way that you act, the way that you are and the way that you simply exist. Yet, the people who pass you by can also be the closest to home, in a perverse and surreal way. We live opposite each other, wholly unknowingly. We used to work at the same restaurant, lamenting over the failings we both shared. Winding up in a small bistro miles away from either of the two, crossing paths and sharing them so intimately and so swiftly is something I will not quickly forget. She lives opposite. For one more week.
A knock on the door and a cup of tea may be all it takes;
A longing to share a similarly insightful conversation;
However, we both have contrasting, but similarly busy lives;
How can you knock on somebody’s door and expect them to answer?