Passé: High and not so dry

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Finally, someone shared the same unusual set of experiences – and was experienced in similar ways. Finally, it meant that she did not immediately get bored, annoyed and frustrated.

Always before, she found that the things that are everyday and even passé to her were inevitably going to be exciting and fresh for most others. Even sought after. Having lived completely different lives within just one life, nothing like what anyone who’d crossed her path had lived, such big divides opened up on fundamental matters, no matter how many superficial things were shared in common. The excitement, anxiety, rush, fear – whatever one wants to call it – that filled most people each time s/he took a new step, particularly on her/his own, seemed quaint and cute to her at first. She had been taking these steps alone, reaching beyond ‘normal’ boundaries and experience, since she was not even old enough to vote, drive or get a job.

It was all ‘been there, done that’ for her – not that she could not enjoy any of these things anew, but for her, the awakening to new things and feelings could only come in relation to others, to see things afresh through their eyes. It would take something truly remarkable to move her deeply.

To others, she was an untrodden path, albeit one set with new traps (for anyone who had been hibernating in a long slumber of a closed system). She represented both the life one could finally see, taste, touch and smell while vibrantly on her/his own, exploring, as a facilitator toward the next chapter of life, and yet also the very real possibility of being ensnared in an offset jaw trap. With teeth bared.

In more literary terms, all entanglements, thus, were short stories with abrupt endings. For those middle-aged toddlers, wandering into the world wide-eyed and virtually inexperienced, or perhaps merely cautious, so much unseen, the story was over almost as soon as it had begun, while she continued to linger in those pages already read, imagining it as one chapter in a longer work. She served as a transitional plot device to some while she was, for still others, the awakening that portended an entirely new body of literature.

She wondered whether people ever actually could find themselves on the same pages, at the same time, or at least find that they were ready to stay within the same chapter to move forward with the narrative together.

And, then, just as the question dissipated, seeming to have no answer, it all changed.

Photo (c) 2011 Minnesota Historical Society used under Creative Commons license.

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