Perpetually Out of Place

I suppose I have never felt as if I truly I have never really fit in. Now and then, this feeling discomfits and disturbs me. I always feel something is off, like a piece of furniture that is always slightly out of place, like a rug with a bit of skew in its outer edge, like things that seem perfectly in place until you look closely; I have always felt out of touch with life. A part of me is convinced there is some social contract, some unspoken set of rules that I was not told, that I missed the missive containing them.

There is a pointlessness to it all, where all the good and the bad that happens to me begins and stops with me. There is no before or after, just a single stream of events happening repeatedly. I lay suspended in this colloid of memory. And I feign interest, and I go out and about, and I listen ardently, and I think, and I try to understand, but I feel as if I do not have a stake in this world I live in, that I am an outsider still. I do not know why I feel this way, but I always feel this way, and like we rarely ever ask why we breathe the way we do, this feeling has made itself comfortable. I do not know if this will change entirely someday, but I wait for that day to happen.

But then, I look at a painting or read a poem, and if not something made by us or our vices, then, often, a sole patch of grass or a flower suffices, and something changes for a moment, for a minuscule smidge of time. I think I, too, belong. If I can face something so beautiful, this must be the place, and I must be a part of it.

Yesterday was one such day when a painting knocked the wind out of me. It was a landscape of masterfully textured foliage, green, sprawling, and a river cutting through it. The bubbles bounced off the canvas, and the water in the brook flowed with such tremendous speed you could almost hear it. It seemed to have drained straight into my heart; it seemed to have washed it clean.

I have never felt truly alive; I have only jumped from omen to omen. I reckon there is always something beautiful to look at; there is always something that knocks the wind out of you.

I wonder if this is what being alive is after all.

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