Saturday, February 07, 2009

Just do what you do

Today I was sitting in The Café across from The Lab (guess who’s been reading The God of Small Things). Anyway, there I was eating my breakfast at 1pm (I had lunch at 9), when I saw across the room a fellow. He’s someone I know of, on account of many other people I know knowing him and him having, let’s say, an outgoing personality. Not wanting to interrupt I didn’t make myself known and presumed that he wouldn’t notice and would soon be leaving. Then comes that strange feeling when you are aware of your place in a room and how all the other things present relate to you, their proximity and movements, their interactions with one another. It’s not a feeling I’ve been able to escape once it’s entered through the door. You just become aware. So he did notice, and came and made himself comfortable across the table from me.

Then off he went, happily indulging in his knights-move thinking, explaining it as somewhere between genius and madness, which I’m inclined to agree with I must say, on the basis of vanity if nothing else. He told me all about his travels with a girl he met over a basketball in his first year of university, tested me on the triad of pellagra, told me about the distant places he's been.

I was anxious to get back to the lab and my newfound friends (lungettes as they shall now be referred to), so I explained I had to go and began to pack my things. Then, out of the hazy falling-all-over thoughts he had been throwing amongst the clatter of forks against plates and cups against saucers, he said ‘you just go do what you do’. It was a feeling akin to being clonked over the head by a heavy book. Doesn’t seem like a big deal does it? Oh but it is. You see that’s the thing that was said almost 3 years ago now, on an early summer’s day. At the time it felt important but unclear. Later, on my own, I realised that this was something I had wanted for a long time. To know that just doing what you do is enough, that you don’t have to make someone happy because, for the most part, you do it without knowing. This might seem a lazy kind of desire, a feeling that you don’t have to bother or some such notion, but it isn’t that; rather, it is the idea that there is something intrinsically right in you for that person, and in them for you.

These days have not been easy, and I have only barely realised that it is ok to say that things feel hard even when they look easy. The bruises that are left by words that could ordinarily be so easily kissed away, remain, accumulating in their glowing purples, yellows and greens. It is moments like these, in circumstances like these, that possess an even greater heaviness, a more profound weight, when you are reminded of the fundamental truths that are taken with you everywhere. Just go do what you do, and I’ll be around, it will be enough, and it will be ok. The proximity of the things around us will change, their movements and interactions will all be rearranged with time; but we will be linked, chained and tied, in knots which will be pulled taut sometimes and fall loose at our feet at others. So just do what you do.

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