I live at a distance that no tape can measure. From others. From myself. Always have. From my earliest rememberings, I have floated at the edges of human interaction; at the fringes of where living is lived.
Standing back. Watching. Gathering. The ghost in the room. Me. Observation is a gift. And the opposite of one.
Life is, as a consequence, somewhat alien and exotic to me. I have been, at times, surprised when people speak to me. A touch, a phone call: How did they find me so deep in the air? And parties? When I can be persuaded to go at all, I am the phantom in the corner…the psychic assault of so many lives packed into one room is extraordinarily painful. And yet, being utterly anonymous is a condition rather terrifying to me. Contradictions abound.
I remember my fascination with city bus travel in my early days in NYC. What a treasure it was, the ability to sit above eye level, shielded by tinted windows, watching the lives lived in the street, lived actively. The Watcher, mobile. Capturer of Moments.
What is this Cult of Invisibility–this writer’s urge to sit to the side and collect…this exalted watching that makes life jewel-like and precious and safe. In an uncontrollable world, distance bestows zenlike peace. It clears a place in the head for wonder. And irony. And fascination.
We are Synthesis Machines, writers are. Gleaners. Happy wraiths. Omni-directional sensory apparati. All-Seeing Distancers. Pickpockets of the spirit. Some days, we are happy to be.