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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blissfully Unaware

Sitting here doing nothing really. Or should I say "doing nothing particularly important"? I don't know. I guess I can't be bothered to try and wriggle between the nuances of both statements. Strangely comforting to know that I'm happy not thinking. A day to savor, if nothing else, because it comes to me so rarely. It's as if there wasn't a worry in the world for me, and suddenly I feel empowered enough to try and do something that I would have never otherwise thought of doing. Well, I may not leap off a tall bridge with a bungee cord attached to my ankles, or jump out of an airplane in aerial pursuit of a parachute that preceded my exit of the aircraft a la M. Schwarzenegger. But I would like to just sit here and enjoy the moment...this moment.

And what's so special about feeling this way? I don't know really, but it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster of sorts. Through it all, however, there's been a welcome sense of the ultimately inevitable. I don't mean to be redundant by saying that, but I suppose the best way in which I can describe this feeling is to say that it's one of knowing that ultimately, in spite of all the emotions, opinions, urges, ideas, theories, scenarios, situations, and knowledge, that it doesn't really matter. What is "it", though? Well, let me introduce you to something else that I couldn't be bothered to explore right now. No, the mind is at peace, and there seems to be a certain serenity that I have craved for the longest time. And so, I'm going to let it be. This is me. This is who I am today. And no one can take this away from me right now...because there's nothing there. I feel immune. I feel on top of the world. I feel as though there is nothing anyone or anything can do to me that will make me sit up and say, "Oh my God! Now what am I going to do?" No panicking. No beat-skipping of the heart. None of the above, merci beaucoup.

I saw an old man get on the bus today. He was frail. A man who had seen many a day come and go. His legs had grown weary of carrying him around the world; his world. Yet, they still performed their duty, as dutiful limbs tend to do. I saw him climb up the raised two-step stairway at the front of the bus. As soon as he had done that, a man, far younger than the old man, a person who had just a few moments ago made himself very comfortable in the first of the seats marked "Ladies" got up to let this poor gentleman sit down. Thanking him with the wave of his hand and a sound that many years ago might have been a coherent show of appreciation, the old man sat down. When the bus conductor approached him, the man handed him a a few coins; the exact bus fare, for if nothing else, age had turned him into a seasoned traveller. The conductor looked down at the small collection of coins and shook his head. "Not enough," his shaking head seemed to indicate. Exasperated, yet in a seemingly childlike manner, the old man began to decry the facts that seem to dog our very existence: rising costs, not being informed in a timely manner, the fact that bad things always happen to good people, how just the last time he had traveled by bus the fare had been of a smaller amount, rising costs...

The conductor smiled. It was a knowing smile, for he had seen many an individual like this. This old man wasn't a threat, and he wasn't trying to go from uninformed and incredulous to semi-pleading but with the air of a customer reminding the person offering the service who was really boss. He genuinely was not prepared for this sudden change in an otherwise routine transaction. So, the conductor smiled. And when he looked at me I smiled back. I couldn't help it because the whole misunderstanding and infantile raving was so, dare I say it, "sweet" it was the only natural and perhaps correct response in this circumstance. The conductor said nothing, and didn't make it a point to demand the additional fare. And the old man, after some muttering about the sheer state of the affairs of his world, started to look out the window, soon to be lost in the whirlwind pace of life outside the bus.

This little episode had a warming effect on my heart. I felt as though I, like the bus conductor, was somehow above everything. The fact that the correct fare had not been collected didn't bother me as some other minor detail might have done on another day. No. Serenity. A sort of ultimate serenity. One from which there is no recourse, not that there should ever be any. One from which no sensible human being would ever willingly relinquish her or his grasp. And although there is no precedent for feeling this way, or perhaps I should say that there is no inclination to explore and rationalize this feeling, I now know that I like feeling this way. Blissfully unaware and loving it. This too shall pass, no doubt. But as I sit here, preparing myself to leave the office for the last time, a little voice in my head forbids me to think about it; to think about anything at all. "Just finish this post and move on. What has to happen will happen..." And on that note, here's goodbye...for now.

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