Our Fear of Strangers

xxxxxThe rain from the night before has cleared the humidity from the air, and a beautiful sunny day explodes upon the cityscape. I stroll down the street, bathing in the content comfort of the light, feeling my hangover seep out of me with every step I take.

xxxxx I reach the crest of a deceivingly long hill, and light a smoke. A young woman is beginning to ascend the hill far ahead of me. I walk calmly, watching her slowly approach, thinking of absolutely nothing (or rather, taking in the moment as it is, without anything in my head but the awareness of this…right now). As the woman draws nearer, I begin to feel as if she is actually walking directly toward me– which is odd, since she is, of course, on the same sidewalk and unavoidably walking directly toward me. Yet, the feeling remains, and intensifies with each step, until I am quite certain that she truly is walking directly toward meintentionally!

xxxxx The space between us closes, and she stops. I stop as well, as if I’d been planning to all along. She gazes at me with youthful, pretty eyes, casting a subtle hint of enticement, flirtation. I gaze back at her quizzically, not sure if she means those eyes for me, alone, or if they’re simply held in this perpetual state of allure. After an instant of acknowledging each others souls through our eyes, she breaks the silence with a soft, timid voice.

xxxxx “You shouldn’t smoke,” she nearly whispers, with a shy smile.

xxxxxI blank. I hadn’t been expecting that.

xxxxx “I know,” is all that comes from my mouth, after a split second of uncertainty, blindly staring into her eyes.

xxxxx She breaks the gaze after a moment and reaches into her spring jacket, bringing out a flower and handing it to me.

xxxxx I blank again. I really hadn’t been expecting that.

xxxxx “I hope you quit,” she says, smiling peacefully – then walks away.

xxxxx I don’t move, staring at the woman in an idiot stupor, as she ascends the hill, limply holding the flower in my hand. It’s a tulip.

xxxxx In a trance of dream-glazed eyes and cloud feet, I meander my way downtown, scarcely aware of anything beyond the oblivion of my singing thoughts. Warm, silent laughter blooms inside me. Hot air trapped in a balloon, I glide down the streets weightless. My heart swims as if intoxicated, as if the world has suddenly come alive in a glory of colours and lights and spellbinding textural intricacies – where even the gentle rolling of a chocolate bar wrapper across a small patch of grass, projecting momentary glints of silver shine can be a beautiful, and fortunate sight to see.

xxxxx These eyes! Why do I feel this way! Is it her. Is it those beautiful, inviting eyes. Is it the smell of sex that makes me swoon like a light hearted child. No, of course not. Someone cared – a perfect stranger. Truly, she is. This vitality suddenly bursting through me, beaming out of my eyeballs and electrifying my eardrums. Her love. She reached out to me – made an effort, to share her love. I am worth saving. I am worthy of life – of being alive, healthy and strong. Desirable.

xxxxx Instantaneously, the body reacts. Rapture of the senses. Fully alert, awake !

xxxxxLove.

xxxxx Too bad I can’t hold onto this. It never lasts. Too hard to try all the time, especially while I’m in the process of killing myself on this energy draining, will bending, long-term suicide plan (much to the delight of the billion dollar capitalist joke recipients – and their families). I pass by a funeral home, flowers lining the front of the building. Tulips. Just like mine.

xxxxx Humans are funny creatures.

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