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The Distance

Busy crosswalks at intersections have always had a strange feel to them. As strangers come and go, looks are exchanged between I and them. It is those looks that leave a small yet deep impression on my mind.

One look, one life, one story.

Maybe it was by fate that those strangers and I were to meet on a particular day.

Or it was by pure coincidence.

I personally am not a believer of fate. I am too insecure to believe in it. I want to believe that I at least have some control over the events that occur in my life. But then again, things happen… just because they do.

One look.

A glance into a stranger’s eyes. Let it not be ruined by poetic metaphors as “peering into one’s soul” or “his eyes are the window to his heart.” No. Realistically, eyes tell us nothing. Biologically, eyes tell us that person’s eye color phenotype. But it is not just the eyes that we must look at to understand. Take a step away from the painting, and review it as a whole. That stranger’s physical features, shoes, clothing, jewelry, walking motion all tell us something. Now, we can infer and deduce, and do a damn well job of it, but we will never know the master of the puppet.

One life.

Today our paths cross. This hour we are in the same part of town. This minute the pedestrian lights signal for crossing. This second I pass you. We share nothing, the wall between stranger and acquaintance never crumbles. You are just another person in this city. I am just some high school kid on his way to school. You know nothing of me, nor do I of you. Our paths cross in one second of the 86400 in a day. You are just another faceless figure to me, and I am just another nameless vessel to you. But yet, we meet, and your life is…

One story.

If I have the chance, I meet strangers just for the sake of discussion. Build a relationship through conversation. Form a friendship through stories. Waste the day sharing experiences. Maybe you will lie to me, forge unsolvable mysteries, and craft intriguing adventures that sadly have never occurred. Maybe you won’t. But I, I know I will dramatize my life stories, simplify the complex, and magnify the minute. For the sake of a better conversation. Your stories made you, you live in them, they are the foundation of your existence. We can replay the tape, laugh at hilarious anecdotes, and take a moment to pause at the grave. Stories are immortal.

So then I ask you, reader, what is the greater distance?

To be separated by mountains and oceans, astronomical units, and exponential empirical measurements?

Or to be separated by the barriers of our minds, that even when we are right beside one another, we cannot know of each others thoughts?


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