Life, relationships, the meaning of home. These are weighty topics not often discussed sombrely and in earnest. Certain backdrops lend themselves better to these topics than others – our backdrop is The City at Night.
We have places to be; we are not aimless. Yet we are in no rush. The turns are taken as they come – some more carefully than others. The night stretches out in front of us. It’s funny to think how confidently we move forward when a single lapse in the tech we rely on could muddle up the entire situation so quickly.
There are few nights in which an all-nighter seems like a worthwhile endeavour, and tonight is one of those nights. I cannot tear myself away from the allure of this conversation, and the prospect of silence seems especially lethal tonight. We cannot let this conversation die; we cannot allow its light to be snuffed out and lost to the night. We must each listen and reciprocate – following the dance of communication; a dance as ancient as any other.
Tonight this comes in the form of real listening. We aren’t absorbing each other’s thoughts for injection points for our own outbursts, instead we are absorbing these thoughts because they matter – because they contain some of the deepest meaning we are capable of expelling. We know this not based on content alone, but also on the gravitas our sober voices exercise.
This is a real conversation – one all too rare in life; something to cherish. Despite all of the technology we have available – technology designed to aid us in discussion from abroad – it is only here, where we are so physically close, that our thoughts can connect.
Ironically it’s the glass brick in the cupholder that distances us tonight – when it so clumsily interrupts us to tell us what to do and where to go next. I would like to silence it, if we weren’t relying on its knowledge of how to reach our intended destination.
We speak of the outside world – not theoretically – but in practice. We speak from our 18 or so years of experience. And yet, on this night, we occupy a self-contained bubble; separate from the rest of the universe. We view the city beyond our physical limits, unjudged. We are invisible tonight; merely observers here to take note of a world without us – just as in the stories of the Christmas ghosts. The difference is that the city is indistinguishable without us, at least during this point in the night. Infrequently is anything organic distinguished. We are moving through a model city – a proof-of-concept displaying the functionally acceptable.
We are alone, free to speak the most sincere. And we speak as much to ourselves as to each other, as if speaking aloud that which we have always suspected generates solidity in our lives. Everything we say has meaning this night. Everything we say, we mean. It is the most comfortable I’ve been within a conversation – this dialect suits me well, like a well-adjusted office chair I can rely on when things need to get done. I wish I could speak like this to everybody. I wish everyone could speak like this to anyone. Communication is what the world needs right now.
Life, relationships, the meaning of home. These are the topics which I will never again underestimate as I continue, begrudgingly as I may, to follow the technology that guides me.
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Welcome to Canada Bannock (First Nations type of bread)
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