They say that no two snowflakes are alike. I find that very profound. Significant. I don’t give in to feelings a lot these days, but I do find it noteworthy. Interesting even, in the way that word was meant before it became a polite way of saying nothing at all. Just thinking about it. All of that DETAIL, every little molecule in its own unique little place, a new configuration every single time for billions of years. Too much for my brain to take in, apparently. It’s not like me to arbitrarily stick a price tag on any of the thoughts or sensations that enter into the hollow of my mind, but this, this it seems is one of the few things where I choose to make an exception. It’s significant.
“‘It’s … significant.’” The lights at the bar are cold. So is his gaze. He’s reliving yesterday for me, reliving it, trying to … cope. “That’s just about all I manage to get out of my stupid mouth in the end. God, I feel like such a fool. And then she smiles at me, a smile that, for a second or so, could melt away all worries, problems, and probably even the riders of the apocalypse themselves, should they ever meet, haha! ‘Well, I sure couldn’t bear watching my words that closely. I want to say something, I just go out and say it. But that’s just me I guess. And you’re… well you. Always watching out for the little things, always watching out for everybody. You’re really nice, you know that?’ Right. She is nice. I’m just doggedly trying to create harmony and social cohesion and all that schmoz. I smile back tentatively. It’s all wrong. One of those smothering pauses where you know the world will stop dead if you don’t say something. “You… I was just noticing how beautiful you are.” A sentence I know I’m going to regret saying before I even opened my mouth to say it – and still I couldn’t resist the stupid, freakin’ self-destructive urge to… well say it! Even though it in no way reflected what I wanted to communicate to her – you know, like maybe I should have said ‘in which ways you are beautiful, in the way that each person has their own beauty, but also with the implication that I find the beauty of her being, her thoughts, who she IS especially wonderful but also touching the more superficial level, see I consider appearances to be among the least important characteristics of a person and for me to comment on in such a way is to have innately accepted the – I’m blabbering. Point is, I didn’t – couldn’t – give her half a chance to understand what I was trying to say. And you just know – this way of saying it – it seems shallow. Hollow. Coming on too strong of course. Everything moves on in an embarrassing fashion.. and in her face I see… pity. I hear the clicking an whirring inside her head as the file with my name on it is placed in the drawer marked “good friend, nice, a bit strange sometimes”. God it could have been so – “, he stops, and stares at the scratched laminate surface beneath his third drink. ” – …Perfect. But I’m learning. Maybe it’d be easier if I wasn’t “nice”. It was about time I found new ways of being unhappy. Oh forget it. Yeah I know, objectively – nothing bad happened. I’ve lost nothing, we had a nice time, tomorrow’s a new day to be filled with… things. Bloody useless things. Hell, maybe I’m just dreaming. That I’m so bloody inadequate.” He looks at me, and there’s pain in his eyes, pain that’s sprouted it’s tendrils all over his place. He thought he had it all figured. Avoid the big mistakes, make a few small ones, live the good life. I guess he just expected more from the result. “I just wish … I wish I could wake up.”
“I wish I could wake up,” thought the boy. He thought about this some more. And the he thought that, if he actually tried, he probably could. So he did. The boy woke up. Refreshed from his sleep, he opened up the silvery blinds in his bubble, and let the morning sunlight shine in through the canopy. He was just about to make his morning coffee when somethinge caught his eye that caused him first to stop dead in his tracks, then jump up and down and shout with excitement. All around him, and over him, and probably underneath him, were more bubbles. Just like his! With people in them! Just like him! One in each bubble! After half an hour of this, he began wonder if anyone else was jumping around and shouting back. As it turned out, upon his very close inspection: noone was! This confounded him somewhat. After a few more minutes of standing around, feeling confounded (which he enjoyed immeasurably, in his own way, it wasn’t every day that he had a chance to feel anything at all) he moved closer to the glass walls of his ark, his bubble, reasoning that maybe at least the people in the next closest bubbles could hear him better if he wasn’t quite so far away. He moved right up to the curved pane which was the border of his world, to the point where his face was squished against the cold glass and his tongue beat against the merciless transparency – but noone seemed very keen on showing any sort of reaction. After a good time, and very exhausted, the boy let himself slide to the floor, unable to move. The bubbles kept trundling about in the general malaising way that bubbles do, and faced with this unreal, tantalizing and consuming vision the boy might never again have had the strength to move himself even one inch – had he not noticed one occupant staring straight at him. Gesticulating. At last! He ran towards him, gesticulating back, wildly and unintelligibly, but noticing, for the first time, the slightly darker, shimmering tint behind the outside of each of the other bubbles. And gasped in horror. Pulling down his own blinds to confirm the theory he already knew to be true, he sank once again to the floor – and wept. And as the other occupant was wisked away by an air current, still gesticulating and staring intently, the boy in the bubble chided himself. He should have known, he thought, as he got up to make some coffee. They had never learned to pull back the radiation blinds. One way mirrors, as it were. They were all staring at themselves. Maybe they didn’t even want to know what was beyond. Maybe the liked being in their own little worlds where they were the fairest of ‘them all’. Flakes! Every last one of them!
I am a flake. A snowflake. Completely unique, for all that’s worth. Floating, falling, falling, capable recognizing the intricacy of the designs around me – not that it changes anything. I still go where the wind takes me. And one day I will melt, as sure as the sun burns in the midday sky. I am surrounded by the others, I am covered in them, I was born like them, exist like them and still we are too different to ever understand each other. Not, as said, that it would make a difference. It might be significant. It might hold the key as to how we could make things work so they seemed right, for once. Fix this world. But in the end, if we stoop to think about it too long, don’t we all wish, in that most vulgar of ways, that it was all a winter fantasy and we could just wake up?
I’m snowed in. Not moving, looking through my window, from that haphazard room which reflects the state of my soul. Chaos, bound just enough to allow fuzzy borders and prevent total collapse. A couple of lies, placed here and there, to keep the subject placated. “If today was perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow”, says the graffiti on the wall, the grammatical error adding additional irony to a shred of false hope. I’m snowed in, and in this lifeless cold I’m starting to feel comfortably numb.
Too numb to escape.