From when the Earth first learned to circle the sun to the present moment, the planet in all its experience rotates just as slowly. Arbitrarily quantified through years, months, and days in the pervasive calendar of civilization, periods of light and day intricately shelter life on this planet. Up until recently, such an occurrence was considered a miracle by all beings of conscious awareness. And as the tales of history suggest are inevitable, through urban sprawls and fascinations with things of temporal nature, the miracle was no longer considered a miracle. It just was what it was and taken for granted like the ground on a subsequent step. Though the sight was destined to implode in the tentative future, on a date as one might call it, a man named Vincent somehow managed to believe that this time around, things were going well, for him at least.
Vincent knew they were deluded when they told him to have a nice day. It was more of a suggestion than a statement, and it was relatively sincere enough that he could almost not stop himself from laughing. Instead he kept to his subtle smile and let his neighbors suggest to him that he enjoy Earth’s most recent rotation. To Vincent, everyday was a nice day compared to the previous days and it was funny to imply otherwise. Though intermittently covered with the clouds of the London sky, the sun shined just as bright no matter what. Even on days when he took it upon himself to splurge and purchase the flavored soy milk instead of plain in his weekly hazelnut vanilla latte, he understood that the words he spoke to himself were more positive than usual. But his emotional state? If that’s what one considers to be the essence of a human being, well Vincent’s was stable like an anchor buried deep in the ocean. And for some reason this time of year, stability with an ounce of patience was concerning and hard to come by.
Like his aging aunt forecasted, the signs were there in the early days. Unlike the other kids, Vincent liked the dark and enjoyed the part when his eyes adjusted to see comparably if he waited long enough. For many, that was a large if, because nobody seemed to be able to wait as long as Vincent could. From long lines in the market to questionable amounts of time spent holding it in when a bathroom just wasn’t available, Vincent waited and waited as if time were of little importance. It’s relative, he’d say.
As he matured and his social groups experimented with substances of pleasure, he learned to experiment with his breath. As they exhaled the smoking grass, he waited for the wind to clear the air by holding his breath. Times like these happened so frequently the kid could hold his breath for minutes and minutes on end. It came in handy on the so-called bad days, and Vincent had his fair share of those in the later years when his home was engulfed in a river of fire. Like a vagabond, he was rid of his attachment to things and the place he called home, but his breath remained as rooted as a redwood tree planted centuries before his birth.
Often, the same recurring thought would arise. How different is this moment from the last? Certainly this moment was better than when his home turned to ashes but it was not as sacred as the stillness he felt in the presence of night as he waited and waited to lose awareness by falling into sleep. Compared to the euphoria he experienced during the times he couldn’t hold his breath, breathing in the air of nature was cleansing and the smoky particles of herbs was saturated with something repulsive. It was a loud noise almost like danger was calling and telling him to escape. Suffice to say, sensual pleasure of that sort did not interest him in the least bit.
He was tired of listening to noise, both literal and the kind where semi-sentient beings transfer their thoughts into the ether as a form of play. With time, he realized temporary acknowledgement was what they were after. They generate noise because they want to be heard, but they call it by too many names. Not even Vincent would have the patience to list them all. But the noise he heard that day was spoken from his neighbor’s voice box like a pigeon calling to its flock. Unknowingly, this bird didn’t recognize that it called out to a sparrow who sang a song quite different from his.
If he had to be anthropomorphized into an animal, he probably would be a sparrow, though a canary might be adequate as well. Nevertheless, like an aviary creature of an undetermined kind, Vincent could feel the symphony of life within his body with every inhale, and with every exhale he could make the past disappear as if it were the sun withdrawing from the ocean’s horizon. While others waited for the chorus he would savor the humming silence of life even if that meant walking until his feet were sore with blisters or sitting on the sidewalk and waiting for night to become day.
He was content alone and one could say he was lonely. But he didn’t see it that way. And the other day the thought arose from his consciousness that in the remote confines of his existence, it may be a good idea to share his thoughts and perhaps feelings, writing them down on a keyboard for others to ponder. And so he did.
With relative sincerity,