Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Touch and Go

Every day we wake up, we're somebody else. Our experiences today will be different from the ones that we had yesterday. Our lives are, technically and theoretically, always changing. Nothing stays the same. Nothing remains familiar. Lovers are really strangers, strangers are really friends, and enemies are really those who refuse to admit that we're all more alike than anyone realizes. Life is touch and go. We touch, are touched, wish we were touched, and we move on, sometimes not even knowing why we move on, or even what we've missed.

Touch and go.

Life was interesting a couple of years ago. I was finishing up my first bachelor's degree, activated by the National Guard, and on my way to that fun little desert that is the Middle East. In a small PX in Fort Stewart, Georgia, I mentioned that I needed a padlock for one of my bags, but didn't have the money on me. Later that day, when I wasn't near my bunk, someone found my stuff and left a brand new padlock on my bed. To this day, I have no idea who this person was. Touched. And gone.

I remember getting my dog, Jax, after I got out of the Army. I bought him a doghouse so he could stay dry when it rained and I wasn't home to let him in the house. He wouldn't go in it... not even when I put food inside of it. I talked about this in one of my classes in college. The guy sitting next to me, a tall, gentle-looking black man, said to put sawdust on the floor of the doghouse. For some reason, dogs like the smell and the comfort it provides. I never tried it, but I never forgot the advice, either. Advice from a stranger just trying to help. I feel like shit that I don't know his name. Touched. And gone.

Life moves in circles, in waves, fuck... it even moves in squares and dodecahedrons. Why is it that I am alive, able to walk (although barely), work every day, and play with my dogs and cats? Why is that my replacement in the Army no longer has his foot... or his arm? Why is that I am able to talk to my father, but refuse to because of the friction between us? Why is that several of my friends want so badly to talk to their fathers, but can't because they're no longer living? How can one person leave so indelible a footprint on a person's psyche that a script, a poem, or a song is written due to that footprint? How is it that other people are forgotten as soon as you meet them?

Touch... and go...

We are not a species that can stay in one place long. We move on, from place to place, day to day. Not because of some instinctual need for survival, but because of some higher need for more. Why are we the only species that needs, unequivocally, to love and be loved? Why do we pretend that our pleasant emotions are tied into what's familiar? Why do we assume that our hurtful emotions stem from fear and the unknown?

We are the only living thing on this planet that is capable of touch and go. The only one. Everything else is tied into a natural cycle that repeats itself over and over again, and will repeat itself until extinction or the end of time. Touch and go. There's a reason we're capable of it. A reason so simple to comprehend, most of us refuse to acknowledge it when life seems too much to handle:

No matter what happens to us in life, we can always move forward.

Touched.... and gone...


Anonymous said...

How insightful. I'm moved. Good job, Chuck!

Posted by Jessica Lynn on October 26, 2006 - Thursday - 7:15 AM

Anonymous said...

love this!

Posted by you have no idea... on October 27, 2006 - Friday - 3:03 PM

RA said...

What a delicious read! :) I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion, though. And yet, I am touched by your writing, and hence not gone; I'll hang around for a while. I love a blog where focus is necessary when reading..... :)

Lonnie Hanzon said...

I know you linked this for Jayne, but I had to read. Wonderful piece. Very visual and alive.

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