Of A Morning Encounter

Earlier this week, at a very early hour, I had a human moment, one which I will write about cautiously, against my nature.

Just a couple of nights earlier, I listened as a neighbor sat outside. His mind was at high elevation, so to speak. He had his phone in front of him, singing loudly and with an absent melody. His voice carried, even against the strident insistence of insects. I couldn’t help but laugh at the content of the song he sang. I wasn’t laughing at him per se; but his delivery and vocal content were so amusing that I couldn’t help but laugh involuntarily. So much so that even days later, I find myself singing a certain segment of what he sang.

On the morning in question, I stood on the balcony. The neighbor sat below. Something about his demeanor signaled that something was amiss. His mind was clear – and that surprised me. “I just need to talk to someone.” So, even though I needed to leave for work, I did. And he told me a story about dear friends, ones who’d moved away. Betrayal had struck them like it does so many. As we talked, his mood lifted, and I gave him a practical distraction about the absurdities of human behavior and its consequences.

It’s the terrain I know too well. I suspect most of us find familiarity in the map of mixed emotions.

I went inside, petted the cat, and headed out again. As I sat in my car, way before sunrise, I looked at him again, still sitting in silence in front of his apartment.

I ignored my inner voice and exited the car, walked over to him, and hugged him. He sobbed for a bit and then thanked me.

Presence.

It’s overlooked and sometimes feared.

But who among us doesn’t want it and need it like the oxygen we breathe?

Each of us will have a turn in our own flooded boat. Perhaps it will be invisible to those around us.

The rain falls on all of us.

I don’t have a moral to the story or a tidy bow to crown it.

Just shared words.

Sometimes, that is more than enough.

Love, X
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