09 August 2012

On reasons that will not get written

‘I will not see you again and I will not write again either, for reasons that will not get written,’ someone wrote to me a long time ago at the tail end of a letter (hand-written although it wasn’t a ‘long ago’ before email and the internet) to thank me for sharing some poetry. 
I never saw her again, but she did write, after about 10 years and after a lot of internet searching and emails to many who shared her names, some of whom actually bothered to reply, ‘No, that’s not me’.   But we wrote about things. Updated.  The paths that professional pursuits had made us walk, the destinations, planned and unplanned that we had reached.  I wrote, really.  She acknowledged receipt. 
I still don’t know what exactly those things were that did not get written and I doubt she will write it all down and send me. I doubt I will see her ever again.  I hadn’t written to her in over three years, but I did just now.  The last emails were not responded to, but I still wrote.  I am not hopeful that she will reply. 

It’s more than a decade now. I have some sense of the lines and craters, literal and metaphorical, that life has inscribed on me.  I have no idea of the transcripts, apparent and otherwise, on her countenance. 
‘You make me laugh,’ she said the last time I saw her, and added ‘that should tell you a lot’.  It ought to tell me more now than I heard then but I am not sure if I hear less now.  Time is a strange thing. 

I remember, though. 

We met in a bar in Ithaca.  ‘Chapter House’ was mostly frequented by graduate students.  Alcohol was frequently bested by conversation.  It was a crowded night.  There were about 15 of us from the Department of Rural Sociology.  She came in with a friend, T (for Thomas, I think).  They looked around and there wasn’t a free table.  She asked if she could sit with us.  ‘Of course,’ I said.  And we talked. And talked. 
I looked for her thereafter.  Or rather, looked out for her.  Didn’t see her. For months.  And then, again at Chapter House on a quiet evening with lots of free tables I saw her with T and some others.  Didn’t take long to figure out they were law students, like her and T.  Asked her if she was a law student. She smiled and said ‘yes’.  Are you M…..?’ I asked.  She said ‘No, I am M…..’.  I had remembered just the initial.  And so we met a couple of times more. Once at Chapter House. She came with T and shooed him away to play darts.  We talked. And talked.  And we met again, for lunch.  I told her to order for me because I am terrified of menus and ordering.  She said she couldn’t believe that I could be scared of making an order.   We chit-chatted about all things under the sun.  I gave her my poetry and walked her back to school.  That’s when she said ‘You make me laugh’.  A week later, she wrote to me saying there are ‘reasons that will not get written’. 

‘I will not write to you again and I will not meet you for reasons that will not get written’.  I called her that day.   She wasn’t home.  I called her the next day.  Her housemate said, ‘She graduated and left’.  T sent me an email a few days later, saying he was leaving Ithaca.  He mentioned M.  I can’t remember what he said.  They were very close friends.  Beautiful people.  Pure of heart. 
‘I will not write to you again and I will not meet you for reasons that will not get written’. 

I’ve often heard those words. Yes, heard, although it was an ink-on-paper thought that came to me and although it was eye and not ear that was touched.  I can’t remember her voice.  I can’t remember her eyes.  I mean, not colour or shape.  In fact I don’t remember her face.  I only remember a gaze that was utterly pure. 
There are reasons that don’t get written.  It must be a good thing. 



Anonymous said...

No Malinda, the reasons that dont get written are always not a good thing...no

Anonymous said...

You say that the 'gaze was utterly pure', implying all unwritten reasons written in her gaze and that she was compelled to keep them unwritten due to other forces against her will? Is this a fair assumption?

Anonymous said...

No , she thought if she writes it will be a bad thing for you .
Yes, because she did not write ,you think its a good thing .
By not writing she kept you thinking its good for rest of your life.
There are beautiful angels in this world.They are beyond your imaginations.So you don't believe in angels.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful piece of writing.....
The whole experience is like a poem..
Lovely 😊