SEARCHING FOR MEANING
I think I am staying alive just to satisfy you. That’s what Richard said to Clarissa.
But what does he really mean? What is he saying? And what is he not saying when he says what he says? He only said ten words, so he can’t probably mean more than that. Or can he? He did not say that his life has lost all purpose. He did not say that each hour (oh, the hours!) of every day is now a torture. He did not say that he’s come to consider suicide. He only said ten words and none of them were “purpose” or “torture” or “suicide”, so he didn’t really say any of that. Or did he? He didn’t specifically say it. That he wants to die. That the end has finally arrived. That there’s nothing left to do. That life is now meaningless. That it’s only because of her. She, the only reason. Nothing else.
He didn’t really say all that, but he did say it somehow. And what did she reply? What did she say? That is what we do, that is what people do: they stay alive for each other. She said sixteen words. Which mean what? Which mean if everybody does it, why not you? Seven words. Or maybe she said I do not care about other people, I just need you alive. Do it for me. Please. Remember me as I remember you and stay alive so I can come and see you and we can be together. Thirty-eight words. Or maybe she actually said I think I am also staying alive just for you and it is so sad that we cannot be together but what else can I do but to give parties and buy flowers and breathe in the fresh air of each blue morning and celebrate life and pretend happiness is all around in the hope that at least a little bit of it reaches you, reaches us, because I love you so much and we love each other and so we have to do it for us, we have to stay alive for one another. Ninety-five words.
But she didn’t say all that when she said what she said. Or did she? It’s hard to say. Language can condense many things in a very short string of words. Everything can always be expanded and contracted. Everything. Everything can be extended beyond its limits and be seen or said or read or heard or felt or thought or meant or done from different perspectives and angles or be reduced to just three ordinary words which can become especially meaningful when combined. Everything can change.
So they said something and they didn’t say something but they did say it anyway without saying it. And what am I saying here and now? What am I doing? And what am I not saying? Am I being short? Am I? Or am I just rambling about the way we think and the way we say things and what we actually say and what we mean without saying what we think and what we want and what we actually do when not doing something? Why do we sometimes say too little? Please, tell me. Why do we sometimes say too much? Can sixteen words contain ninety-five? And can ninety-five contain only sixteen? And what’s the point of all my saying and my not saying if you’re doing nothing about it? Please, tell yourself what this is all about. I urge you to act. I urge you to think. What are you doing now after reading me, after reading Richard and Clarissa? What are you thinking? Who are you staying alive for? Tell me, what am I really saying here and now? What is this all about? Please, give yourself an explanation.