The Intimacy of Strangers

As I sit at my desk, or in the café, or find myself walking down the street, I look on others, just like me, who make a largely solitary pilgrimage through life, filled with thoughts and dreams . Who knows what it is they run from or seek: I am not privy to their thoughts, but sometimes in their eyes I see mirrors of my own and that brings some solace to man who sits beside his memory and nurses its images.

At her death, at least, I could grieve her passing, and curse the accident which snatched her from my life. In her presence I had been the very figure of rectitude, aware always that she would not be burdened by the emotions she aroused. She, I always understood, must be free to travel as she would, and explore as she must, the world which beckoned her to each and every corner of its surface, until, in one moment, almost as an afterthought, she found herself trapped beneath a vehicle and shortly after left this life.

She knew I loved her, that was clear to see, but also that I knew that love cannot always be returned, or not with her, and I would not exert a tax upon her person. She who  teased my presence with her smile, and the way she touched the world around her, never let it trap her in one place and I, who knew her as well as she would be known, made no reference to my contemplation. The discovery of perfection does not imply possession and life  lived in the present is often understood only hindsight I believe: tribes and animals who live in, and tend the wilderness, are threatened by our curiosity, and so it was with her.

I could stand with her but only at a distance, love her but not use that word, and protect her privacy as if it were my own. To witness such a life and being, it seemed to me, was the rarest of gifts, and I accepted the price of it, as if it were a trifle, such was her magic in my eyes.  She could come and go in my life, as she saw fit, and so she came and went.

Now, despite her passing, she is always with me, and I who have lived a varied life full of adventures enjoyed by those who seek an identity, and mingled with all kinds of company, not always chastely I admit,am free to talk to her as I wish.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Love, Relationships, Romance, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Intimacy of Strangers

  1. Caroline says:

    What a beautifully crafted observation. x


  2. You’ve written your words of sentiments, so strong. And I felt it….


  3. eric keys says:

    Death, memory and imagination – all very powerful forces.


  4. catterel says:

    Very touching – you have a real gift for getting inside people, Ducks.


  5. This is so intensely personal and yet one really feels a part of it. It is so easy to identify with you lead, and I love the way in which you have woven in the sense of the private relationship which no-one else is privy to. Wonderful writing.


  6. Superb. This is just wonderfully written and the ending is perfect.


  7. restlessjo says:

    I’m not sure if this is in tribute to a real person, Peter, or just wonderfully vivid imaginings? It sounds a little like someone I know 🙂


  8. What an interesting take on death. I have to think about that.


  9. Ina says:

    That is lovely Peter!


  10. I’m glad that this is fiction for you, not reality. You crafted it so well, with such sensitivity for the viewpoint of someone who has struggled with unrequited loss and yet is mature enough to know that you cannot make someone love you back. A hard lesson to learn and accept.


  11. You. are. beautiful. xx


  12. Al says:

    Ducks, I’ve labored to understand how you are able to write so vividly about such a large variety of life experiences that you couldn’t possibly account for in this lifetime. I can only assume it is a result of several past lives lived, of which you have remarkable recall. Rebirth is a fascinating subject to me and I would love to discuss it with you in some depth.. Let’s plan to live close to each other in our next incarnation so we may easily get together for a pint and discuss its merits.


  13. I know it’s tagged as fiction, but this is so deep and poignant, I have sincere trouble believing this to be anything but real. It broke my heart to read this, but I’m so amazed at how he could be so strong, even when she was still alive. When we love someone, it’s so hard to let them venture far from us, to live a separate life. At least he has the closure of knowing that she was aware of his eternal love for her.


  14. nelle says:

    So much I could say, but… you’re posts are really playing with my heart today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.