Monday, July 6, 2009

Ask me again

Will you?

Always wanted to talk about myself but never felt the opportunity. Never noticed my segue was quite right to say, "Hey, let me share this which is about me with you!" All the time I listened - your stories, their stories, the whole spectrum of conversationalist miscellany. Was it advice they wanted? Was it validation? Was it an outlet? Was it just the knowledge that someone, anyone, was listening, really listening, for once in their goddamn life to what they really had to say...

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I wish I could've written down more of their stories, put them into my copious hardbound blackbooks, my illegible scrawl across every white page, like graffiti, like the insistent things that fill empty space because they have to.

I wish I could've said those right things at the right moment, that I only thought of later, that you only ever think of later, because when you're listening you're not really thinking are you? There's no room for your own thoughts in the midst of someone else's.

I wish there was something I could write that would be as meaningful as I feel at this moment that I'm writing this. But all I can do is tell you I feel it. I can't show you, can't illustrate via original wordplay. I am the artist who says a simple thing in a complicated way.

I wish I could take all my notebooks filled with everyone's everything - the anecdotes, observations, doodles, elaborate drawings, stories, statements - and dump them in a paper-grinder, let all of it turn to pulp, and then put that pulp into a paper-press to be new pages for new books. It'd be like recycling, only ideas and experiences, instead of bottles or cans. It'd be like we could all become part of each other's whatever - words, or something like that, something like that.

I wish I had something to say so much that I told the first person who asked me nonchalantly how I was doing - their expression unprepared for this intensity, this honesty - and when they realized it wasn't your average chit-chat, they'd make an excuse I know. They'd plead previous engagements like a store suddenly busy. It'd be nice to say something uncomfortable for everyone but me, instead of saying everything uncomfortable for me but no one else. Change of pace is a good rate, I think.

I wish you would sit down and drink your drink slowly, like you actually enjoyed the taste, or at least wanted to savor this time we're together drinking. Pretend for me? Pretense isn't such an unusual thing to wear; I put it on every day, and take it off every night before bed. Or if you could, genuinely be interested, and ask me questions instead of running through your topical conversational lists. The safe societal norms are our socio-religious rites, ritual, tradition. TRAAAAAADITIOOOOOOOON! Tradition.

I wish more of my old habits die hard because I love them, want to feel each one's exit more exquisitely than its entrance, so I never forget what I lost. This me is the same me you knew on the playground playing with toy-trucks and buckets of sand, but he's not. His insides don't match the outsides anymore. We don't change, not really, but we do like to think so. When you were young did you think you knew it all? And older, do you think you do now finally? What's really changed when you still believe the same way you did back then? What's really changed when you need hindsight to see what you'd do differently?

I wish the one thing I never forget is where I came from.

I wish the only thing I never remember is how much I hurt sometimes.

I wish the first thing I do when I kiss another person is remember to look them in the eyes, so I can see if I'm reflected in them or if all they see are my lips...

I wish the last thing I do before I die is write one meaningful line.

I wish on 11:11, shooting stars, lucky pennies, coincidences, twisting apple stems, the Fibonacci sequence, lyrics, full moons, and all sorts of happenstance.

So, please, ask me again, will you?

Ask me something about myself that you really want to know. Ask me because you really want to listen.

5 footnotes:

Sarah Alaoui said...

Brilliant, the last two lines say it all.
I don't do small talk anymore.

Zek J Evets said...

@sarah: thank-you.

Jessica said...

You write so eloquently. I love it! I love the Bukowski reference aswell and it's absolutely true, but in the same way not at all. When you write (or at least when I read your writing) I take in not only the simple thing you're communicating, but also what I imagine to be all of your thoughts on it.
Posts like this make me smile.
I do believe you can listen and think about yourself at the same time listening. You do that all the time, don't you? Think about dates you've been on or girls who have used you as a shoulder to cry on, or even some of our conversations about how we grew up.
Give me a call sometime, I'll ask you so many questions you'll be the one making an excuse about a preexisting obligation. =P

Postscript- I dreamed about you last night. I'm not sure why it was you and it was of course a psychotic, nonsensical nightmare, but you were a good part of it.
I wonder how you've been lately or what you'd choose to say if we talked.

Zek J Evets said...

@jess: active listening? i suppose. for me, when i really listen, it's difficult to have any thoughts of my own other than gut reactions.

you had a nightmare with me? well, i'm glad i played a good part in it at least.

y'know, you could always call me yourself to find out how i'm doing/what i'd say... hah.

Jessica said...

I would have done it a million times by now but I got a new phone and lost all of my contacts in the process. I was also without one for awhile. =/
Shoot me an email so I have it. I'll bother you all the time!

And thank you for the star. It's lovely.