The Dilemma of Directness

Photo collage by Arabella Paner

I’ve been thinking about the plane that disappeared and how terrifying it is to think that sometimes Einstein is wrong–sometimes, things are lost. There are some changes that we will never be able to account for. Initial energy isn’t always equal to final energy. Sometimes subtracting differences gets you nowhere.

I was also thinking about how I have an aversion toward people describing things too directly–or people giving ultimatums, that kind of thing. I feel like interrogation is the most artless thing in the world: to ask someone to only answer yes or no to arrive at the complete truth is like asking someone to remove all their teeth so you can observe a mouth. But still, I understand why it’s done. I understand the temptations of simplicity and the need for answers. More than anything, I understand that the dilemma of directness is that by asking for what we are desperate for, we push it farther and farther away.

I have this recurring dream about this person I used to know. In it, he’s always smiling. We’re always doing mundane things–last night, eating sushi; other times having a beer in a backyard with picnic tables or driving down a highway on the way home, once I dreamt we were sitting in a strawberry field (that one was more surreal but even then, in these dreams whatever’s happening always seems to be casual, taken for granted) . In these dreams we always begin alone, talking or walking and eventually other people show up: my boyfriend, a few of our common friends, occasionally my family and we all proceed to have a fun time either talking (one time I dreamt my boyfriend cooked us all steak and we had a barbeque cook-out) or catching up (another time I dreamt we were sitting in a cupboard under the stairs, giggling). And every time I wake up, I forget I’d been dreaming. I’m happy for five minutes then I’m in the shower feeling like shit.

I don’t think that’s a new feeling to feel. I’m sure a few of you who are reading this have experienced that before.

Like things are lost, things also suddenly appear–what is that sadness about? I don’t think it comes from the desire to hang out with this person: what would there be to say? There’s too much water under that bridge. Does it come from the realization that it was a dream? If so, what about it did I wish to be real? The mundane happiness? The comfort?

The knowing he’s okay?

Some things are lost. I was thinking about the missing plane. I was thinking about those children. I was thinking of the Bermuda triangle. I was thinking if he, like those things, had slipped through.

5 thoughts on “The Dilemma of Directness

  1. Dani says:

    Oh gosh, this is so relevant right now! (Both on point news-wise and…life-wise). We’ve probably only met once and I’m not even sure if you remember me, but I just had to comment because this made me feel (not better, but something like it). I’ll just end it at feel, haha!

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