Monday, May 22, 2006


Being lonely in a crowd is boring compared to being crowded when you are alone.

I sit in my living room when the others are gone. Across the room, next to the window, is a rocker. I’ve never sat in it; wasn’t meant for me. Only when I am alone and feel still does he come. He sits and looks out the window, scanning the yard sometimes but usually peering into the woods beyond. I’ve never noticed his clothes, but I think he wears the same ones always. Our eyes never meet, they can’t: he can see right through me.

He was or is someone’s grandfather. Not mine; I’ve never seen him before he started to visit my rocking chair. But when he comes, my shoulders relax and I forget to hold my face as tightly as I usually do. I feel safe like I used to feel before the fracturing times of decades ago.

He never lived here. My house is too new for that. Perhaps he farmed this land a long time ago. Maybe he hunted in the woods. Perchance he was just waiting for me to put his rocker there so he could relax at long last.

I don’t get up when he visits because when I have, he has always left. So I fall asleep with him sitting near. I dream vividly and awake refreshed, but alone.

Next time I feel still, before I sit on the couch, I will put a hair brush next to his rocker. Perhaps the time afterward, I will try to find my stillness as I sit between the rocker and the window. Will I feel my grandfather brush my hair?

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