Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's always been there, this pane of glass between other people and I. I say "people" rather than "world", because as long as I was with nature, with animals, plants, my imagination, I wasn't truly alone. Animals especially, small children sometimes, there's no barrier. Early on, I realized it was there, and I tried to coax people over, past the glass, to see the things I saw, tried to explain. They wouldn't listen. I grew tired of pounding on the glass, of watching them have fun without me. Animals were better, more trustworthy; plants were more predictable. Sometimes I could get people to come to the other side of the glass and if we tried really hard, some of what I was saying would get through, and vice versa. But as they were surrounded by people who were easier to hear and I was a bit odd, they tended not to stay for long. There were times when a particularly special person managed to find a phone or a little window. I cherished those people. But sooner or later, they tended to tell me that the glass wasn't really there. Sometimes they got mad at me because it was there. It might have felt like a prison if it weren't so pretty and quiet on this side. The other side of the glass looks wildly chaotic and out of control and the priorities appear to be entirely different. Still, it gets lonely.

Then there were lovers. Sometimes there was a little window, sometimes the glass was thicker than ever. It isn't much fun to try to make love to someone through a pane of glass, even with a window. And they said the glass wasn't there first. Later on, they would see it was there and then they'd be angry with me, as if it were my doing. I was used to feeling isolated. I spent a lot of time thinking about the man who had found the largest window before my parents slammed it shut. I always wondered if that window would have been large enough for one of us to climb through.

One day I turned to talk to you, and the glass looked very thin. I was surprised; I could hear you easily and everything you said made perfect sense instead of sounding all mumbly. I had already come up with a different theory, with an idea for heading off in the direction opposite the glass, but this was too arresting to walk away from. I didn't have to shout. I didn't have to strain to hear. You were interesting and funny. And...the glass wasn't there. It was just gone. It was like you were right on this side of the world. Maybe I imagined it wasn't there. Maybe it was too thin to see. Who knows? They said I wasn't safe and they put up a big wall of concrete there, said you wanted it. I caught a glimpse of you behind a section of thick, cloudy glass and you said yes, concrete, please quit trying to break the concrete wall down... I miss you so much. I hate the concrete.

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