I thought it’d be fun to challenge myself to writing every once in a while, even though I don’t really have much to say. So here’s the idea: I’ll pick one person that I know, either personally or tangentially, and write a short passage on them.
The first time I saw him, I had to blink twice because it was almost like he wasn’t there. He was dressed in all black, but I felt like he was see-through. Though he sat in the corner of the cafeteria with his book and his lunch, he was somewhere beyond the quiet din of the college campus.
I wanted to approach him, to see if he was lonely and wanted to chat, but couldn’t find the right words to use. He looked happy enough by himself, though I couldn’t understand why, so much so that my voice felt out of place in his world. As the year passed, he and his book would become a fixture of that corner, as much a constant as the six clocks on the back wall of our cafeteria.
Once, we called him over for some homemade seafood soup. We had to ask twice, because the first time our words drifted away before they could reach him. He came back with a bowl, wordlessly filling it while scooting into a waiting chair. As I watched him eat, all the questions I wanted to ask came floating up.
“What are you reading?”
“How are you doing?”
“Are you lonely?”
However, the wind was blowing him away from me, whipping the questions from my mouth before I got a chance to speak. I wanted to tie this enigma down so I could understand him, but I passed right through him. He was bound by nothing, could be affected by nothing, seemed impervious to this world and all it’s implications. His only variable was a wind, invisible to everyone, yet urgently pushing him towards a future that’ll forever remain a mystery to me.