October 17, 2010

Questions

Originally written in September of 2007.

Have you ever sat there and watched a woman cry? Sat there and watched tears pour down her eyes. Not a lover, not a friend. She is no one to you. You look at her and sit there. Feeling nothing while she feels everything. Call it indifference, apathy or frigid detachment. Sometimes a person just doesn't care.

She just hit a little kid with her truck. She thought it was her own. The child was run off to the hospital. She was left there to wonder and wait. Her boyfriend is trying to soothe her but she is inconsolable. Her friends are there. Hugging her from time to time. Saying sweet things. It wasn't your fault. You couldn't have done anything differently. He ran right out in front of you.

Still she cried.

And I look at her, at them. I watch. Fascinated by the scene in front of me.

The police have just arrived. They ask questions. They make her relive her hell. She sobs hysterically throughout. They ask me a few questions. I didn't see it happen, I only heard it. I tell them that. They leave me alone and interview her friends. Have you ever noticed the way that women speak much louder than they normally do when being questioned by the police and men speak much more softly? I sit and wonder about that for just a moment before the thought escapes me.

Thousands of thoughts come and go. Questions fly up into the air. Answers reign down. I forget them all. All of those insights into the present that seem so deep and so profound but are never written down.

Blood curdling squeals suddenly fill the air. Another child has appeared. The women all scream. I grab his hand on instinct and sit him down next to me. He has no idea what is going on. He was sleeping in the house. He looks a bit like I do, I suppose. Apart from the things around him. He has just woken up surrounded by a scene so odd that I wonder if he is a Roald Dahl protagonist.

Some woman comes over and lectures him. In one ear, out the other. I tell him to chill. Stay out of the street and you'll be okay. He looked both ways and went back in the house.

***

I turn back to the woman with the wet face. She is sniffling now. And moaning. Moaning awful, awful sounds. She looks disgusting. She was kind of cute when I met her. I even flirted with her a bit. Now I sit there wondering why. I'm normally turned on by raw emotion, no matter which one. Fear, anger, suffering, and frustration are all things I look for in a woman. I enjoy a roller coaster. This felt more like a plummet to the earth. I should be enjoying studying this woman.

But instead this is abhorrent to me. Am I disgusted with her or myself? How can I be so callous? How can I be so loathsome? Perhaps in another life I was a war photographer.

Then I see two guys slyly sneak out of the scene with three giggling girls and I suddenly feel better about myself.

***

The news returns. The kid is OK. The scene disbands. She is still crying. I stop wondering.

8 comments:

  1. you see a once-pretty woman sobbing for all she's worth, because she hit a child whilst at the helm of an extremely powerful piece of machinery; you feel nothing?

    not even pity?
    how wonderful! apathy, something we could all do with a little more of. still. not even a little sympathy?

    it seems a little callous, but if it works for you! well, it works! i would include myself when i say that things around blogger.com have been getting far too emotional. merci for polarising! frabjous post, monsieur.

    passionate love, bella

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  2. just found your blog and I don't know this post some what captured me... I was wondering have you ever experienced something in your life that made you cry out your world, that experience ( which I knew all of us had at least one experience of that in their entire life) If you do you would have an idea of what it is that she is actually feeling at the moment and that you understand her will make you feel sympathy at least,

    these lines of yours really captured me
    "Thousands of thoughts come and go. Questions fly up into the air. Answers reign down. I forget them all. All of those insights into the present that seem so deep and so profound but are never written down."

    you are interesting.. will be following from now on.

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  3. Wow. Powerful piece. Did it really happen...or is it coming from that fertile imagination of yours?

    Deep, deep sorrow is not attractive. It's not crocodile tears and a shaky voice.

    Grief is not pretty...it's ugly and awful and horrible.

    I need to either console that person, or walk away. I feel their pain.

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  4. The fascination we all have with the out of ordinarily. It's what makes us human.

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  5. Chris, as always when I read your words I am on the edge of my seat, completely absorbed, feeling every emotion along with you. I love the way I feel when I visit here. It's time for you to write that book!!

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  6. lazarus: I don't exactly remember how I got in that state of mind that night. It happened a few years ago, I remember it being very surreal though.

    eemah: I'm glad it hooked you, come back anytime!

    Kathryn: It did indeed happen, a few years ago though, I wrote this a while back.

    Alpha: I remember it was fascinating.

    Robyn: You're way too sweet! Thank you, I'm glad you enjoy it. Someday I'll finish a book, need a good idea first!

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  7. I should be calling you evil and hateful, but I'm forced to admit that this sort of numb fascination is what I feel too at times when raw feelings are required the most.

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  8. Kanwalful: Sometimes I slip into those moods, it's odd.

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