I write. I may be here, but I may not be present. I am not always going to notice the things that other people notice or the things you want me to notice. You may look at me and think I’m being unproductive, but I’m actually hard at work.
And I work hard. I don’t romanticize what I do. I write sentences and I re-write sentences, hoping to end up with something that appears as though I have crafted sentences.
Please forgive me, my friend, if I don’t remember birthdays or notice your new hairstyle. I hope you can look past my failure, dear family, to clean up behind myself or to be a normal parent.
But I do notice things. I realized, dear friend, you changed your hairstyle when you brushed your hair to the left side of your face, and as you did your white, manicured nails fell beside your ear where big rings of silver dangled, landing finally on the side of your tanned neck. I meant to compliment you on your hair, but I forgot to mention it once I was distracted by the mosaic of white, silver, smooth, blonde, and brown that was happening around the area of your left ear and upper neck.
Please don’t think I consider my work noble. I write not because I am trying to save the world. It is the moments of life in this world I want to save.
I overhear a child say something that could mean one of a million things.
There is a cupboard in the corner of the antique store that is at the breaking point with its stacks of porcelain plates, but one plate looks out of place. I can’t move on to the next area until I find out why…or at least create a reason why.
A thought occurs to me about truth, about existence, about life. It is so beautiful, so important, that I have to stop time and put it on paper before it disappears forever. And I can’t betray the profundity of the thought by messing it up with my words, the way I do so often. I must sit here and keep going so that you and everyone else can see the heart-stopping wonder, pain, grace, horror, loveliness, and aching that is this world where we live.