How to know everybody on the planet? How to share in or at least acknowledge all of those existences? All of those individual hopes, angers, loves, jealousies, sadnesses, joys, revelations, disappointments, epiphanies, lies, dreams, disillusionments of antidisestablishmentarianism, plus all of those other vague failures, victories, coming-uppences, doubts, faiths, beautiful deeds of altruism, and heartless deeds of cruelty which can't help but to contain fewer letters?
How can I ever know what motivates the hearts of the people behind all of these secret doors on all of these public streets? And that's only here in Denton. How can I ever know that any of it is real? If any of these concerns have a toehold in any kind of reality? I only have my own determined belief to go on... that 7 billion people, give or take, are alive right now and at the same time as I am.
Ok, moving on.
I'm at a place that I come to every once in a while. A couple of times a year. It's this seemingly abandoned nursing home which lies at the bottom of a natural (or maybe it's unnatural. Heck, I dunno) tendency of downwardness from the road... about 15 feet down a 40 some-odd degree slope. You can stand on the sidewalk and look down at it. It's kind of a steep hill that goes down for a while, and then there it is. An abandoned nursing home is what it looks like. Down there, at the bottom.
It seems to be in fairly decent order, except that there are never any lights shining in the windows, or any cars in the parking lot, or any signs of human habitation whatsoever. The cracks in the concrete have only just started to grow weeds, but it's looked like that for the past couple of years... like it's in a perpetual but very short-term state of neglect.
I'm looking at it right now, right this minute as I'm saying this, at a moment in your present which, at this very second.. or from your point of view, that very second... describes(ed) the permanently frozen past, from where I am/was/have been yakking this to you.
From here, in the dim scattered light, it looks almost normal, except for being so deserted. Several times I have imagined myself looking down there to that abandoned place. I've watched myself waking down to it and going inside, into dusty and empty rooms where old people eked out a few meager last moments before they died. People with entire lives connected to them, like box cars on a freight train hundreds of years long, extending into the unbroken and diminishing past and containing everything any of them and all of them ever felt, and all painted the same unrecognizable color.
I've seen myself wandering through that place as if I were in a dream, gathering clues to all the lives that ever gave that place a purpose... from the people who imagined it before it was real, to the people who paid for it to be made into a real thing, to the people who worked to build it and make it real, to the people who worked there as janitors and care givers and bookkeepers, to the people who visited friends and family there, to the people who lived there, and to the people who died there. And to the people who decided that it needed to be shut down. And to the ghosts.
All of that which I just described... all of it, if you were to take it and mix it together in a pot and cook it into this homogenous substance that you could slurp down, or let seep in or absorb in some otherwise unknown but effective way, would contain the essence of the dream feeling that I've gone up and down and hither and yon about for years now.