Other people’s words about … connection
‘We should probably go back [to the party].’From ‘Filthy Animals‘
‘We?’ Lionel shook his head. ‘You can do whatever you want. I think I’ll hang out here for a while.’
Charles sighed then. There, [standing] resting his cheek against the wall, he looked a little helpless. Lionel mirrored him, turning, resting his cheek against the cool plaster.
‘You mind if I hang?’
‘Suit yourself. Not my house,’ Lionel said, but then he saw it. Relief. Charles was shy too.
‘Okay, tough guy.’
Lionel felt their breathing sync. The eye contact had reached the point of being ridiculous, but it wasn’t uncomfortable or uneasy. Lionel wasn’t even sure if they were seeing each other anymore. His own eyes had gone slightly crossed, and Charles broke up into blurry segments. But they were in another moment apart. They had returned to their own tempo, just the two of them. Lionel felt free of other people’s expectations for how he should act and be. He felt free of his expectations for himself.
It was like kindness, as simple as that.
by Brandon Taylor
In my last post a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about not having the words to describe the life I live now, the life so many of us live now. And that hasn’t changed. I’m still feeling quiet, still waiting things out. In a sense, I think the whole world is in a waiting phase right now as we move into the third year of the coronavirus pandemic.
I feel as though I’m waiting myself out, too, until things make more sense again.
Port Adelaide, February 2022.
Meantime, moments like the one Brandon Taylor describes in the passage I’ve quoted above continue to bring me succour. As Taylor tells it, this is a moment passing between two people, a moment of wordless understanding. Whatever happens next to Charles and Lionel, we know that they will be richer for this moment they have shared.
When I read about moments like this, I feel richer, too.
Aldinga Beach, February 2022.
Lately I’ve been reading …
- I will always write, no matter what. I can’t not write. I also maintain a deep-seated desire to share my work with readers. And buried beneath this desire is my fear that my stories are only relevant if they’re published. The anxiety is rooted in a mix of writerly ego and a fear of mortality. After all, if I didn’t want to be read, I’d just write in a journal: Anjali Enjetion provides my only link today, writing a lovely piece on stepping off the publishing treadmill. It’s possible, though, she writes, that absent the pressures of capitalism and commerce, writing books with no intention of publishing them might liberate my storytelling in ways I’ve never considered. I read this and savoured it and read it again.