Sometimes, I believe my understanding of people has grown deeper as my experiences with them have grown more shallow. Apart from occasional moments of mutual soul-bearing with friends (and increasingly, strangers), exchanges come freighted with knowing looks, empathetic head-shaking and hands upon the shoulders in a way that reminds me of straightening a painting on a wall.
Women friends embrace longer and talk less. Except when they do talk and the conversation is peppered with ellipses like “Well, you know…” “You understand…” “You’ve been there…” and I honestly wonder what I know and understand and especially where I’ve been because I can scant recall anything that happened between 1995 and yesterday.
In my company, men drink faster, though it’s possible they’re just keeping up. Dogs don’t bother with me anymore. I was abducted by aliens who only wanted to make me tea and pout at the floor.
Other times, people are pure mystery. They foam with insights and philosophies fit for monographs and muesli boxes. Love, natural law and cartoon anatomies are diagrammed on napkins.
Where do they come up with this shit? This genius shit, I think.
Who knew candle makers were called chandlers? And hours and bottles pile until there is nothing left to know about men and women and dogs and candles. I file my column and sleep – a wholesome, dark sleep. The giddy sleep of someone who remembered to leave the latch unlocked just before falling.