the way things just come together

by jdavidcharles

Last night I dreamed of a girl from Berkeley
who I went to high school with, a writer
who I can only recall in vague feelings of jealousy
and remorse and pride—she ran the high
school magazine and her fingers were in everybody’s
pie with her poetry and essays at a time when I was
content with role-playing and chocolate yogurt
with granola for lunch; I’ve been talking with my
roommate about philosophy and poetry and what to do
after college when we touched on the subject of what
to do if things went awry, so we both pledged
to drive to Berkeley, maybe even attend, he would
write his music and I my poetry, and things
would be grand, which, I suppose, is what sparked
the memory of the girl from high school at Berkeley.
I have this fear of graduating I think from
all those angsty post-college films which are always
undergirded with that terribly depressing irony that
these post-graduates make films after graduation
so what right do they really have to talk about
lost opportunity and misplaced trust with their
Hollywood and 30 million dollar budgets
anyhow? We stayed up late that night drinking
espresso and talking about Levinas when I
couldn’t help but wonder if he had this
conversation in mind when he spoke of
“encountering the other face-to-face” and
“putting the self in question” (which lead
me to wonder further if one can ever have
the other “in mind”); and as I finally dozed off
I couldn’t help but think of that girl, not
the one from Berkeley, but the other one with
dark brown hair whom you went to Rome with,
the art graduate and one I love, when the phone rang
and she apologized for waking me and I wanted
to say so much but couldn’t and never can,
and I finally, for the first time in a long time,
felt alone, speechless and alone, and fell
asleep only to dream of the girl who wrote
poems in Berkeley, chat with her over coffee
in the opacity of a make-believe surrounding when
she coolly and suddenly thrust over a document in
secret as if it were stolen or sacred or both which
read as follows “the artist’s mission statement:
to write about the kind of self and understanding
of the self found only in other people, and the horizon
of living we call loneliness, asking always the same
old self-same question, that is ourselves.”

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