Observation as a Form of Listening

two branches, same tree . stacy elaine dacheux . 2015
“The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.” — Barbara Deming

Last night, we walked down Western Ave, up a flight of stairs and into a barren room where a beautiful woman met us. “You cannot come back from wherever you are going,” she said, then opened this closet, reached beyond the wire hangers, and pushed– revealing an entryway.

Cigar smoke and latin music led us towards the main floor where couples mixed salsa dancing with sweat. We ordered a drink and wandered towards the back, someplace quieter.

I retired to a couch. You went to the bathroom. I was left alone, acutely aware of my appearance– t-shirt, simple skirt, no makeup, and a backpack by my legs. On another couch, directly across from me, a tatted up woman with dark mascara belched out, “I’m fucking thirty!”

I am older than this woman– yet, I feel younger. I thought. I am caught in a strange space of experience, perception, and recollection. I thought. If I had a kid, I could tell the passage of time better. I thought. If I lived in a city with more weather, I would know the date with more definition. I thought. But I don’t. I can’t.

I admired the woman with the tattoos– drawing on herself to remind herself of herself. We had a certain commonality despite presentation.


4 thoughts on “Observation as a Form of Listening

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