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"What are you waiting for?"

She shouted as she crossed the street behind me, catching my attention:

What are you waiting for?

If not for the shouting, she could have passed for normal, with a stainless steel travel mug in hand. She wasn't shouting to me, at least not to her knowledge. She continued, each string of words chilling me more than the last:

Are you waiting to die?
Are you waiting for your soul to explode?
Are you waiting for the Armageddon?
8 years, 10 years, 15 years...
What are you waiting for?


She went on, shouting down the street as she walked. I didn't speak to her. I tried to avoid her eyes. There's the usual apprehension that comes from situations like that, the possibility of violence. No, I was more afraid of the possibility of connection— that this morning, in this time when connecting with others is harder and harder, the crazy lady behind me knows me better than anyone.

The earth quaked here last night, though I didn't feel it. This I felt.

I can answer all your questions, crazy lady. And I can answer most of them with yes. Would that have made you feel less crazy? Are you looking for me?

How many of us are passing for normal? When will I start shouting?

Comments

I'm shouting too... on the inside.
I'll listen for that more.
Actually, I think a lot of people are. I also try to listen.
Really appreciated this post — it inspired me to add you. (Found you through Marm.)
I'm honored. I've added you as well.
I have this theory that there are things people can say (or shout) or ask that will touch a cord with absolutely anyone.

I remember an ex-boyfriend saying that some girl he had dated before once asked him, "what are you hiding?" He thought this deeply significant. I wanted to laugh. You could ask a perfect stranger on the street that question and make them feel like you've seen straight through them.

Same with the not-so-crazy lady on the street. She could have been yelling those question near anyone and it would have had the same effect on them. It would feel like it was significant specifically for them.

I don't think I would answer 'yes' to all of those questions. Mine would run something like.

I don't know.
No, I'm waiting to live.
I think it already has. Living with God tends to have that effect.
No, no-one knows the time or the place so why waste energy?
I don't know.
Interesting theory; I suspect it holds in many cases. There's a resonance to this morning's occurrence that goes a bit beyond it. Still good to hear what another would hear and how they would respond. My reaction is different.