The morning opens, and the waves run away in all directions: I take a deep breath, and release it, and the warm air spills over the hand that props my cheek, like a murmured benediction in an unknown language. I glance up at strangers holding toast, chewing, chatting. I hear many different voices, but no words. A faint, accustomed isolation. It's like the chirr and click and buzz of insects on a summer evening. It's fortunate for me that this sort of loneliness is comfortable, familiar from long use, stretching back to childhood. Understanding and being understood – in real time – are luxuries to me: a little rich for daily fare.
All the major transitions of my life have worked this way: a sudden oblique shift, a step sideways into the wings. Never a stride forward in full view. That is not, apparently, how my life was designed. “Am an attendant lord, one that will do / To swell a progress, start a scene or two...”
Across the street, faded prayer flags sway and shiver, mapping out the chaos of the air, as falling snow, or a field of long grass, can do: suddenly I'm aware that all that turbulence is the usual thing, that every reach of the air is whirling and bucking and shifting. Fast or slow, maybe, but never really still. If I scan for every moving leaf, ribbon, thread, fly, bit of paper, puff of exhaust, with my eyes in soft focus, I get a dim sense of the surge and billow, the continual restlessness.
Another deep breath. I will pack up my things now, pay my bill, drive to the store. I am waiting for the bell, for one clear stroke of silver, to make sense of the hour. God bless you and keep you, my dear.