When you show someone you’re vulnerable, it scares you. That’s normal. But it scares them too. They’re afraid they’ll have the responsibility of holding you up when they can barely stand themselves, because life is hard. There’s no free pass. Not everyone can rise to the challenge so they look for easy options where there is none, sacrificing chances for meaningful happiness in the process. You can’t blame them. They feel what they feel, think what they think, and act accordingly. It doesn’t mean they made the right choice but they believe they did and no argument can be pitted against that.
Believing something doesn’t make it true but it does mean you won’t change your mind, at least in the short-term. This is why I believe nothing; I need to be agile, adaptable. To be safe I need escape routes. For if I get stuck believing something unhealthy I will surely perish.
Some things are undoubtedly true though. I try to differentiate myself by being completely honest. People don’t seem to like that. They don’t want to hear it. They want to be lied to, they want a fabrication, they don’t want to know real life.
It’s an interesting place to be in when you’re happy and sad at the same time. I feel it every day, moment by moment. It keeps me in limbo, constantly wondering what things mean. I have decided I don’t ever want answers. I want my reasoning, my thoughts, but I don’t want proof. I want conversation and discussion. I don’t want facts, or lecture.
There are too many normal people on Earth, where the mainstream continue to weed out alternatives; turning them, shunning them, or destroying them. So when a philosophy arises from a quiet mouth it’s crazy because there is no one left to fight for it. No one to say it’s right, or what the rest say is right is wrong. And no matter how innocent it is, it will not be accepted as most do not possess an open mind to even explore original thought. They ignore the autopilot that is driving their life until they die and wonder why they wasted do much time.
I am the same. It’s not so easy to get away but at least I want to.
My thoughtful inattention
comes off as disconnection
It seems like I’m not listening
when it’s only that I’m contemplating.
I’m thinking about what you said
two minutes ago.
Or I look in your eyes
and swear I see
landscapes moving there.
They’re beautiful places, of course I’d like to go there.
And I know,
well I’ve always been told,
that it’s rude to stare.
So I retreat
and start thinking about
the way people speak.
can make some meek
while over distance
they become bold.
Technology grows kids too old,
they say and hear things they are not ready for,
and adults forget consequences
or choose to ignore.
They turn confident,
sometimes thinking they’re cool.
Often it’s too hard
to work out what is truth
and what is meaningless.
These are the things that make me stress.
Then I’m back,
asking what you said,
in my head.
Take this with you from now on;
every moment can be learned from.
He was finding it hard to make an excuse now. They obviously didn’t care if he saw them; and it wouldn’t hurt if the other thing had to wait.
If they were comfortable than why shouldn’t he be? But for him, the intimacy of looking upon someone’s body should be kept private and exclusive. He hesitated, looking out through dim moonlight trying to find the horizon. He shrugged and joined them.
They were indeed naked. And they were beautiful. Why were they doing this to him? He felt like a predator if he looked at them and a prude if he stared away. He must have looked like he was tripping; his eyes were playing tennis in his skull. Had it become such a precondition that he couldn’t look at them without his gaze turning objective?
Dreadlocks smirked a little.
‘We were about to go for a swim, want to join us?’
‘Okay’. But he made no move.
‘Are you going to take your clothes off?’
He was taken aback. ‘No.’
‘Why not? You’ve seen us, it’s hardly fair.’
‘It’s entirely fair, you made your choice. You invited me down here. I don’t feel comfortable revealing myself to people I don’t know.’
‘It’s just a body, it has nothing to do with who you are’, said the one he vaguely knew.
‘Except it’s my body and it’s completely a part of who I am. It affects me in so many ways. I have no relationship with you, so this sort of closeness and familiarity makes me uncomfortable.’
‘If you say so, but if you ask me, there is nothing individual about a body, everyone knows what’s there.
‘I’m not so at ease with sharing everything.’
‘I suppose we have a fundamental difference then.’
‘I guess we do.’
Dreadlocks slid into the water. ‘Swim?’
He took his shirt off as Blue also submerged. She came up, hair slick, her face emanating natural glow.
‘Halfway there,’ she grinned.
He laughed but shook his head. He jumped in and felt a lot better now he could only see their faces. What they didn’t understand was he’d already forgotten what they looked like under the water, despite his initial evaluation. Immediately they became ten times more attractive again.
‘So you don’t mind showing your nipples but it’s weird for us?’ Dreadlocks asked.
He just twitched his mouth and conceded the point.
‘Do you do this often’, he asked.
‘When the mood takes us,’ answered Blue.
He nodded. ‘I like that, do what’s fun, do what you feel like doing. Too many people forget that.’
‘Most people would say it’s part of growing up.’
‘Yeah, but what does that mean?’
‘Who knows?’ said Dreadlocks as she duck-dived, her legs driving him to distraction as they disappeared. Blue floated away on her back.
‘So you do this all the time then?’ She asked.
‘I don’t generally get naked and swim in the middle of the night, no. But I ride the track a lot. It’s like I’m the only one awake.’
‘Ahh so we ruined it for you.’
‘There’s pros and cons for everything.’
Dreadlocks was doing slow languid laps. ‘Is this illegal?’
‘You could always claim sexual harassment if they arrested you like that.’
‘But, for real?’
‘Well it’s a public pool, and you’re nude so yeah, you’re probably breaking the law.’
‘Ooh that makes it more exciting,’ grinned Blue.
He turned to look back up the hill, checking on his bike despite rationality telling him it was ridiculous to think someone would come along and steal it. He just made it out, a slight sheen on the handle bar aiding him. Standing next to it was the Labrador, seemingly monolithic as it gazed down.
‘Jesus,’ he whispered, unnerved.
‘You see that dog up there, it never leaves me alone.’
‘What dog?’ asked Blue.
‘Right there by my bike.’
Dreadlocks cast a worried glance at her friend. ‘Dude, there isn’t a dog there.’
‘What do you mean it’s right th-’ but he looked again and there was nothing. ‘Oh it’s gone; you must have just missed it in the dark.’
‘I think someone has been awake too long,’ teased Blue.
‘It was there! It’s always there! Following me every night.’
‘Okay okay, it must have learnt to recognise you.’
The girls had moved closer together and further away from him, trying not to make it obvious. One change in the tone of his voice and they immediately perceived him as a threat. He could see in their eyes they no longer assumed he wouldn’t hurt them. Quicker than he could click his fingers he’d been made to feel like had to go out of his way to assure them he wasn’t a predator. It was one of the things that made him sad about the world. He didn’t even want to be there.
He’d planned this night to go very differently, would he have the nerve to do what he wanted now?
‘Maybe I should go,’ he said.