notes from a darkened room

can i write in the dark? i do not mind the dark except it makes it hard to see the lines on which my pen is running. i do not mind the dark, because being in the dark with people i don’t know is almost as good as being alone. if you can’t see the people you don’t know, it doesn’t matter that you don’t know any of them. if you don’t know any of them you can know all of them, study all of them — in the dark with the observations of dark places and spaces — without distraction. you can watch the deference of the older gentlemen to their ladylike wives and enjoy their polite, familiar expressions of love. like dressing up in a jacket and offering a chair. nodding in agreement, in unspoken recognition of a lifetime of shared remembrances.

well, that has become more sentimental than i realized. being alone in the dark means your attention turns and catches on every flash of light from the opening door, hoping the silhouette it reveals is one familiar. and then, when the flashes stop coming and the door closes for good, you realize finally you are alone — quite entirely alone — in the inner quietness of public solitude, in the dark with a roomful of strangers. and so it is, and there’s nothing wrong about it and nothing to be done about it. you came alone, sat alone, and as identified by this loneness stay solitary in your row of seats, waiting, not minding nor being minded, contemplating postures and poses and rules unwritten of unspoken communication. do i obfuscate my meaning?


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