There’s a conversation that’s supposed to be happening.
Or that’s supposed to be started by someone else soon.
I guess I stopped believing that I could initiate it
even as I admit there was a time when I thought
that I was in the middle of it, that I could be the cause
of it, that it was happening continually
all around me, and not just with me but among
everyone everywhere at different points of the day.
Now all that’s stopped. For now.
I feel sure it’s still possible, this conversation.
I’ve heard the suggestion of the beginning of one,
side commentary that feels like it could grow into it,
brief exchanges that confirm its inevitability,
I’ve even had facsimiles of what I’m waiting for
play uninterruptedly in my head.
What’s missing is an extended thought communicated
as chatter continues. Or instead of chatter continuing.
Well, that too petered out. Life went on pause.
The television of consciousness went on static.
Now all that’s left is glib talk about the weather,
chummy complaints about money, pat reports of the job,
and pompous grandstanding about the future of cinema.
To say I prefer the sound of a plane flying overhead,
or the whoosh of a car heading down the street,
or the tick of a clock that isn’t in this room
because I don’t own a clock that ticks
isn’t to say that I’ve nothing to say to you,
or that you’ve nothing to say to me.
It’s just that I ask you to say something with meaning,
this time, for once, tell me something I haven’t heard,
the truth or as close as you can come to it,
or what you really think, raw and unguarded,
that risks looking ridiculous because
you’ve never even tried to express it before.
Maybe that will mean something.
Even this late in the game.
by Anthony Spaeth