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Photomontage by aleXander hirka

Everyone sees it their own way. We saw it ours. The tyranny of right versus wrong never came into play. Well, if it did, then we were all wrong. And I was the most wrong as it turned out.

All it took was a day. First we were sure of what we shared and were convinced we saw things from the same standing point. It was like we were in a darkened theater, watching a tenor violating his voice with abandon and we were sure we were watching the same thing. (Ok, yes, I was sure.) And because you said nothing to indicate otherwise, I charged forward making the decisions based on our presumed common standing point.

At first, that worked. The decision to go into the wilderness of owning a home, well, who could argue with that? And what a home! With resolution and a mortgage, we moved deeper into the unknown, lighting our way with that (somewhat ridiculous) red chandelier that you had to have.

After that, there was no way to stop the dominoes. Decisions? We could kid ourselves that we chose the times, that we reasoned it all out, but as our tenor strained his upper reaches, we violated our own resources with abandon. And why not. In every direction that we looked, others were doing the same things.

Birthing and raising families, buying second cars, refinancing, buckling down at jobs that increasingly chewed up lives without providing anything more substantial than a paycheck.

And here we are. You won’t tell me why you can’t sleep; why you go out to the sofa almost every night. I can’t tell you how far from our common standing point I’ve drifted and how I panic daily over not seeing any way back. I reach for your hand and watch your expression split into Picasso masks.

I look at the doodles I make every day while navigating another ring of this hell I’ve fashioned for myself and see that over and over I draw bridges and arches. Is this my way back to our standing point? Can I get back to our tenor before he destroys his gift, our illusion of standing joined?

The rockslides begin. First to fall is the material. So we can get by with one car; we did before. As the goods go, though, the Picasso masks multiply and I realize that I’m doing it, too. I show you the side I think will make things easier for you. We don’t actually look at each other anymore. My mask speaks to yours, yours turns to do the dishes.

Somewhere, on a stage, in a stark white spotlight, a voice rising hits its limit and breaks. All eyes converge on the tenor’s ruined face, all masks stripped away and here we are on the first road we walked, heading for the bridge in the forest. The red chandelier goes dark and the broker takes our keys.

How can this be a future when it carries all the signposts of a past shared and all but forgotten? I look down and see that my feet are where they are and your feet are where they are and that we never, ever, not even once, shared a common standing point. You will only ever be able to see the way forward from your own standing point and I can’t even describe to you what I see from mine. But when I look now, it’s not through the safety of my cushion of masks and what I see are not your multiple facets of interpretation. We now see each other clearly (right?) and we know that the forest isn’t impenetrable.

There’s an arch up there and another future opening up beyond it; I want to share it with you.

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Courtesy of MCAS Iwakuni

© Remington Write 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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Writing because I can’t not write. Twitter: @RemingtonWrite or Email me at:

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