Words Personified


Sam Lowry: I only know you got the wrong man.

Jack Lint:  Information Transit got the wrong man. I got the *right* man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?

You think you are all wrong for me, that I got the wrong man. I would laugh if it wouldn’t break my heart so much in doing so. I think it is funny. It is funny because I am not some bureaucratic machine that has a hiccup and arbitrarily selects you. You are not arbitrary.

Maybe you arbitrarily came into my life by a series of events that were out of our hands (how fatalistic!). But it is not arbitrary that I like you.

You remind me of a childhood memory. There is a picture that exists in the confines of a dusty box, surrounded by memories solidified in time by chemicals on a paper, hung like ellipses in space, of me and my sisters looking up in awe at fire works. Alyson has a smile playing softly on the corners of her lips, Amanda is twirling her hair, fingers in mouth, and I have my mouth open in a look of dumbfounded abandonment. That is how you make me feel; dumfounded abandonment—that you watch movies with the abandonment of a youth looking at fireworks breaking the night sky. It is rare to still look at anything in this world in such a light, past childhood. You once described it as wanting to suspend disbelief—am I butchering this thought?—that you know that movies are not real life (that you cannot let go of this when watching a film), but sometimes you get so caught up you forget, let go, feel the magic of a movie. There is something to getting lost that is so appealing to you and I just want to get lost with you. Anyway, I see you sitting there, eyes alit, holding my hand. You get joy out of film. I imagine you as a little boy, suspended disbelief, heart open—and I can’t help but like you. You are all the best parts of a boy that have grown into a man.

And have I told you how you remind me of all of my favorite Brautigan stories? “So the wind won’t blow it all away… Dust… American… Dust.” You hang in those ellipses. I have to spill you on page to understand you; and if I write you down perhaps you won’t be carried away in the wind. I see so much of you in Brautigan’s melancholy, the routine, the sheer magnitude of utter caring for other creatures. “I’ll tell you about it because I am here and you are distant.” You are words personified to me; you inspire me. Do you know how much that means? Because I don’t. But it means something; it isn’t arbitrary. And if Information Transit got me the wrong man, I’d say they did something right.


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