number of passengers
Updated: May 26, 2020
i had a conversation with a man the other day. consider him a saint if you will. a holy figure camouflaged in thought. he arrived at my doorstep late last night. he was familiar or i should say that his energy was familiar. i found myself observing his facial expressions. his eyelids pressing against each other ever so slowly. moisture locked inside lashes. lines on his face marked a series of unappreciated events and i could truly feel that.
he asked my permission to be seated next to me. i found this incredible; a man of his stature wanting to be paired with me. his humble approach was undoubtedly refreshing. people don’t have manners anymore, i thought to myself. they take without hesitation. sit now, then ask questions. thank you after the other person beats them to it. cut your path as if it were their birth right to be an imposition.
you're lucky if they even see you on their way out. it is the reflection they witness after having gone through a similar experience that causes a reexamination to their method. and those breeds, like this man and i, are a dying kind. it truly is a rare occurrence. few scale back and re-purpose. back to my visitor. i suppose our collective motive for being in the same space was to gain some insight. he stole the first breath and i accepted.
he cleared his throat a handful of times prior to releasing bits of valuable information. his vocal chords were out of tune these days. countless of vacant auditoriums where playing to an empty room has now led to a disconnect within his esophagus. i offer him some tea. he politely declines and asks for some warm water with three drops of eucalyptus oil. unbeknownst to him, i do four. consider it an intuitive feeling. his nasal cavity will thank me in due time.
he tells me that he is trying to rectify some level of peace within the circles around him. circles spin independently from one another. there seems to be no overlap, he says. venn diagrams are fictitious representations designed to persuade people in feeling acceptance… some place, somewhere… in the middle. these circles surround him. he stands on the outside looking in. he warms his fingers with his mouth. it tends to get cold on the outskirts. the moon tucks behind a dark cloak sky. our neighbors hush their porch lights before the moths intrude. he takes a small candle from his jacket. the wax indentations exemplified histories that predated me. he lifted it out from his pocket much like it was a bird free from the shell cavity.
it was still warm. it occurred to me that i was not his first host. and this was okay by me.
we were joined by a moth who found acceptance in our space. he suffers from a rare heart condition. the lines in these unforgiving shapes tug at his chest on a daily basis. circles. spheres. words or the lack thereof (he calls it silent force, muted casualties) slam against the borders. initially, it was the font that was his demise. as years progress into what appear to be centuries, belief systems and/or promises lose meaning now, he tells me. it is the connotation of how these words affect his overall existence.
silence is death. he is torn. certainly this web had a place for him and will continue to as long as he remains hopeful. he smiles. looks down at the cracked pavement. he has been here for an inordinate amount of time. it is not hope that keeps his head over water. it is the necessity to breathe for the sake of his survival or what’s left of it at this point. he finds himself watching words dissipate into thin air when he takes an active approach toward these circles.
hope is handicapped when very little is reciprocated.
somewhere in someone’s arms you lose yourself, he tells me. trust is the main virtue in this connection. trust that they know how to relate to your situation. people have unique capabilities. some have stronger intuitions than others. others just don’t give a fuck. in any case, it is imperative for one to filter through entities. it’s like tea, he tells me. holds up the mug in one hand and removes my tea bag with other. his splintered fingers squeeze the remaining water into my cup. if the leaves are rotten, the tea will not sit well on your taste buds. ensure that the leaves are top grade; qualified for your buds. we both smile.
people who remain in your circle must understand how to appeal to you. you put four drops in my water because you knew i needed it, he tells me. i was shocked. he noticed. whether it’s tea or another form of refreshment, how empathy sits with you is important. this is why hopeful thoughts refuse to exist in my peripheral anymore, he tells me. circles offer no affirmation. this 360 tire needs support and does not have the capacity to return the favor.
so then you find yourself standing in between them as you extinguish your lungs at a mind altering speed. pump air from your withering pulmonary machine into those depleting tires. capillaries take the heat. respiratory health is irreversible. homemade eucalyptus humidifiers are one’s only vice to sustain adequate oxygen levels. i ask to speak to his lungs. he agrees. my sweaty palms feel his passive heartbeat. his heart had a place in these circles.
i push my hands deeper into his chest. the wax folds over my chapped index finger. his heart is on its last wick. i acknowledge his patience. he smiles. i tell him i am thankful he took the first breath in our conversation. he deserved it after all…
soon realized that there was no man. the candle and i alone in this space. amazing what a little you time will serve. especially when you resolve a few disconnections in the neural registry. internal dialogue at its finest.
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