You’ve come across a new song or album and immediately like it, and you become addicted to it, needing to play it and hear it over and over till you’ve memorized the lyrics and the music precisely. You’re enjoying it stuck in your head, and you find yourself humming the melody when it’s not playing. You may also annoy your friends when they ride in the car with you as it plays ad nauseam. It’s all you want to hear and sing and dance to. And in hearing it so much, you burn it out; it gets burnt out. You can ruin it for yourself. Eventually, it moves further down the list of albums downloaded. Through time and new music, it gets forgotten about. At a much later date, the song appears again by way of a shuffled playlist or a random memory that compels you to seek it out for nostalgia. It was once your favorite. You loved it. Goodness, you may still love it. It’s been great to hear again. The song or album was so much at one time; then not so much after time. And taste do change.
We also treat people this way.
But you can fall in love with it again -like a great symphony piece.
I was standing at the very back of the line in a deli-style diner. You place an order at the counter, grab a number, find a seat, and your meal is brought to you. A privilege of being the last in line is this moment of pause, getting to take full inventory of the place.
A casually dressed, dark-haired guy was seated at a table close to the front. He was assembling his laptop and belongings to leave, stacking and shoving things into a worn leather shoulder bag. He looked to be around my age.
I popped out of the line and walked towards the front to read the menu board behind the cashier more clearly. I stood parallel to the line, so they’d know I wasn’t trying to jump place. I was on the same side of the stranger guy’s table. I could sense him look up from his task and register my presence. I stood there, self-aware and self-conscious of being looked at from behind. A defense down. I had sized-up the crowd too, though, when I first walked in. I saw him, and now he was seeing me. When I turned to resume my place, we saw. In this stillness, we really looked. The connection lingered longer than the general disregard we afford most; a simultaneous understanding of mutual attraction. The moment winked.
I had moved up in line when he finally got up to leave. Except that he walked to the cashier. He dropped some cash into the tip jar on the counter and politely grinned his way into interrupting the one giving their order. He slipped what looked like a business card to the cashier, tilted his forehead and partial profile back in my direction, directing the cashier to register who I was in line. I seemed to conclude the cashier should hand me his card when I finally made it to the front. All in body language and without words, we had communicated in some way. We agreed.
(a dream I had recently)
He wants and is withdrawn
He shouts at, shouts with, shouts for
He is focused and responds
He investigates and deliberates, then draws a line
He declares what he wants or rejects
To call for or hold back and further reflect or refine
What constantly calls his attention?
She gives and receives
She makes up and is made up
To scream or cry, to smile or wink
She feels and connects and overthinks
She talks and wonders
She breaks and molds
She reminds and scolds, then brings forth, sucks in and holds
Constantly calling for attention.
To tend to
A tending to
Return back to me, your attention Brocka, 7-2021
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity –Simone Weil
The importance of timing is something this quote doesn’t unveil.