Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just Thinking That Your Thoughts Are Different Than Mine

The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people's hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the age of silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for "I love you" or "I feel serious". When a hand was used to shield one's face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one's lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for "Now I realize I was wrong to love you". These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn't go around with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, "forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I've always been right to love you" Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: "forgive me".

If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms-- if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body-- it's because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what's inside and what's outside, was so much less. It's not that we've forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up: all artifacts of ancient gestures. Holding hands, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it's too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other's bodies to make ourselves understood.

Post office.
They know my order just like a coffee shop would... if I drank coffee.
"14 stamps. 3 International. 11 Domestic."
"Couldn't sleep again?"
"You know it."
An increase in my insomnia results in an increase of handwritten letters.

Do you have those people in your life that you see on a daily basis and you take comfort in them being in your daily routine? I don't mean your roommate or the security guard in your building or even your parents, I mean the strangers that you see so often you feel like you know them.
The cashier girl at the store across the street. The man asking for money on a cardboard sign in front of my school. The violinist on the corner of college and yonge.

The violinist showed up less and less as it got colder and when it got to be full-on winter, he disappeared. He's been gone for months. I'm really hoping he'll reappear in the spring, just like the green leaves and the birds do. Maybe when I hear him play again it will feel like he never left. We can pick up where we left off.
If the homeless man isn't there, I get a twinge of guilt. And worry. I hope he's okay.

If the girl at Shoppers happens to have the day off, I feel kind of sad. It's like looking forward to seeing an old friend and being cancelled on. How weird is it that I feel a connection to the girl that rings through my milk?
When one of these things are missing, the rest of my day is out of place.

What if this turned out to be one of those six degrees of separation situations!?
The girl at the grocery store smiles all the time because she's hiding her pain from the void in her life of not knowing her father, who HAPPENS TO BE the man in front of my school asking for money... BUT ACTUALLY it isn't. Her REAL biological father happens to be the violinist, who plays on that street corner close to the shoppers so that he can be closer to her and he is so hopeful that one day she will hear his music... which he learned from the homeless man, who used to be a famous composer but lost everything when he fell in love with the girl's mother, (who apparently had been sleeping around since she didn't know who the real father was- the violinist, or the homeless man who was not homeless at the time). She chose the homeless man-- who was not homeless at the time-- to be the girl's father because he was wealthier and had more to offer at the time, but then changed her mind when she realized that he loved his music more than he could ever love a woman. She took everything he had in their divorce and to make money, he sold his violin to the violinist, who was at the time, his best friend. Just before the woman died of a cancer created from the guilt of the immense secret she held inside her, she told the violinist the truth- that he was the father. Because both of the men loved this woman, the violinist and the homeless man's friendship fell apart when this truth came out.
There are some scars that can never heal and it is possible to break a heart so bad you can't ever return to the safety it once provided you.
So in the end, the daughter did not have a father. Or a mother. The famous composer (the homeless man) did not have his music, or his love. The violinist did not have a friend, or also his love. They all lost everything.
Because of the woman.
Moral of the story... don't sleep around?

I've been reading too many novels and probably watching too much tv.

I'm ready to go back to Toronto now.

Today's Entertainment News
I hope you like this song. You better get used to it, It's going to be the summer of ALEJANDRO


  1. Your blog has become a part of my day :)
    Somedays I read it early in the morning like this post and I get ahead of myself and I have to wait for you to post again haha

    Creeper I know :P but your posts are so interesting!

  2. Thank you so much! I write every day for readers like you!
    Haha you're not being a creeper at all, this blog is up here to be read and I love hearing from my readers... anonymous or not. I'm so curious to know though, who exactly is reading my blog!

  3. Y'know.... You worry me sometimes with your strange tangent thinking.

  4. To be anonymous is to be like the people you see except you see us through words.

    Sight is strong, but words can kill
    I wrote to much
    and and found my fear

    The title, the line
    that spoke straight to me

    You are the girl in the square box
    looking at the world upside down

    Your blog is a treat
    and I'm glad that I found

    So please don't stop writing
    Don't stop writing at all

    And when I see a square girl walking
    I'll know who you are after all