Not Atoms

I actually had a plan for what I’d aimed to write next, which never happens beyond, “Maybe I should write about that some day.” While it even came up today, and thinking about it has started to excavate the flagstones of an old, shouldn’t-have-been-forgotten path, it’s the previous entry — that I kept looking back at as an embarrassingly pointless ramble until I woke — that demands my focus.

(And even between the above and what comes next, a pause in which it happened again.)

It took days to finish, which you’d be tempted to think explains the way it wanders, but it isn’t that. That’s how my thoughts flow from moment to moment, too, not just with days and sleep between them. There typically are several at once I need to untangle before I can say anything even remotely straightforward, and so I write in tangles more often than not.

I remember why I started writing it.

I’ve been listening to music more lately than I have been for years, and it’s starting to stick.

When the quiet settled in, and I was going to process through some more pieces I’d started and needed to let run, I scanned through the list of music I’ve collected over time and nothing was right.




…and then it was sitting there and it was the right song.

It’s almost never the right song because of the things it is tied to in my head.

I couldn’t have told you when I clicked on it why, but as I started writing about that middle of the night singing out in the street, it was clear as could be. Psst, look over here. It’s in this box somewhere.

It had always been a sad thing, that song. Fragments of optimism, hope tossed out into the universe that I might stumble on another moment like it again, but relatively certain all the while I’d be wandering down that metaphorical street with melancholy fondness for that moment, and a dash of humble gratitude that it ever happened at all.

The longer I listened, the less it fit the mental file it had lived in for so long. Repetition after repetition, it began to transform as I realized why it clicked, and why I did.

It wasn’t the song’s old meaning, but what else it conjured.

Because it was there again in something other than a memory, unexpected and sudden and overwhelming and staring me right in the face. It has a few other tints and shades this time, but the core is the same, is paramount, and something of breathless quiet wonder.

I’ve stared at this empty space for over an hour now, unable to find the words to explain it. There aren’t words, and there isn’t a song I could sing even then; I can’t draw it or paint it or fractal it out.

The gratitude isn’t humble now, it’s more akin to awe — for the friend I tumbled into this with, for the universe setting things just so, and for that girl singing in the street for somehow remaining alive after being locked away inside for 32 too-long years.

I never thought I’d see her again, let alone be her.

There are no words for it.

There’s a lot more to this, but having slept on it once over the separator, it’ll have to wait for a part two.