Strangely, what I’m missing most isn’t social media. It isn’t even the non-stop chatting with my friends, although that does come close. What I miss the most is writing — and I don’t mean writing like I’m writing the blog posts. I mean writing stories. Creating, exploring, navigating stories that have never existed before, because they are mine and mine alone to tell; sure, they may have the same body or plot, but no two people can tell the same story.
I miss writing. I miss telling stories. Is there a particular story that wants telling? Not any I can discern; none that I know of, anyway. There is one, though. I can feel it at the back of my mind, lingering, nagging to be told, whispering in areas I cannot hear. I wonder what would happen if I just gave in, though I don’t yet know what the story is or wants to be — I wonder what would happen if I just started typing.
Would it sound a bit like this?
There once was a girl.
No. ‘Girl’ is not the right word. She was anything but a girl. To say, however, she was a woman would be to lie; she wasn’t that, either. She had much more growing and learning to do before she could be classified as ‘woman’. She wasn’t a teenager, nor was she a pre-teen. She simply was what she was — and that was a female between ages.
She was neither short nor tall; neither skinny nor fat. She was of moderate height and moderate weight and moderate looks. Her hair, a shade between black and brown, hung at moderate length, somewhere just around her shoulders — but not quite touching it. Her skin was a little on the tan side, but not too dark. Her face was an average shape (that is to say, it looked like a face should look), and her features were just as average with lips that curled into a smile when she smiled and a frown when she frowned; a nose that sat where it should and was neither too large or too weirdly shaped; eyebrows that weren’t too thick or thin, and didn’t curl in an odd angle; and eyes that were almond in shape.
That was, unfortunately, where the normalcy ended — her eyes were a beautiful hazel, flecks of green and gold dancing in and out, depending on the light.
She hid it the best she could.
She went many, many days — years worth — without getting found out. Everyone treated her no differently than they treated everyone else, which is to say as though she was normal. And she was. She was probably the most normal of them all, if you discounted her eyes, and she worked very, very hard at it. In fact, she put so much effort into being normal that, sometimes, people would gaze at her in awe and wonder how anyone could be so naturally normal, and she would have to purposely do something out of the ordinary so that they would stop looking at her.
See, that is what I miss — the flowing of words, and the way they just fall together to form a story. In this case, it is, apparently, the tale of a normal female. I don’t know where it’s going, but this is what’s been nagging at the back of my mind; this is what I’ve been feeling. And I miss it. I miss discovering where it’s going, and allowing the words to present themselves, surprising even me at times.
I want to know where this goes. I want to figure out what happens next. Should I?
Over in the next town, there was a boy who was the same age as the female.
No. Not a boy. He was a man, a man in every sense of the word. Among all the other males in his village, he was the best. He was the smartest, he was the fastest, and he was the quickest. There was no one who could beat him in anything. He was also humble, and kind, and fair. He was the kind of man fathers wished they were fathers of, or at the very least father-in-laws to, and the kind that mothers wished their sons would grow up to be or the kind their daughters married.
He was tall, and muscular, but he never showed off. His black hair was always neat and washed, and he was always smiling a polite smile at anyone he met. Tanned from many hours working in fields, aiding his elderly parents, he was the envy of many, for he never burned or peeled. The only ordinary thing about him were his eyes, which were a dull brown that never lit up or shone, not even in the daylight. Nobody noticed they were normal; that is how normal they were.
He hated his life.
What he wanted most in the world was to be normal. He longed to walk down the streets without people greeting him or asking him how he was; to buy things at the store without people complimenting him or giving him discounts and free items; to have conversations about the weather and how boring his day had been, instead of them gushing over something he’d done; or even to just hang out with friends without being asked for help with something only he could help with (as the strongest, fastest, quickest, and whatever else-est).
So, for these two people — the normal female and the extraordinary man — life went on, as life does. Time passed in seconds, in minutes, in hours, in days, in weeks, and in months until a year had gone by. Nothing of particular interest happened to the female during this year; only interesting things happened to the man. She didn’t grow or mature; he had sprouted another couple inches, and although he stopped here, grown he had. They had, it is safe to say, about as much in common as a desert and Antarctic — which is to say, far more than one might think.
One day, the man — who, incidentally, was named Kalmin, which roughly means ‘manly and strong’ — was tasked with going to nearby villages in order to see if they had any goods worth exporting. The first few towns he visited treated him like royalty, amazed by his mind and physique, and he had a grand time, enjoying none of it. Still he found nothing of worth to bring back to his village.
It was the next town, however, that caught him off guard. Upon entering, he noted how surprisingly lacklustre everything was; there were no colourful posters, no bright lights, no welcome signs. The people were no better; they walked as though they had been walking for years, a slight drag to their feet. They spoke when spoken to (which meant that nobody really initiated conversation) unless about vital things. They all wore similar clothes and shoes, and had similar hair cuts — males with short, almost shaved hair, and females with hair hanging down by their shoulders, without quite touching it. Their eyes, he noted with a sense of excitement rising, were exactly like his.
For the first time, he felt at home.
“Excuse me,” he said to the first person he saw — a shopkeeper standing guard at the entrance of the place. “What is the name of this marvelous town?”
The shopkeeper blinked twice, and then said, “It’s Town.” He paused, looked him up and down. “You’re not from around here.”
Kalmin shook his head. “No, I’m from Errivetown.”
The shopkeeper frowned. “Alive Town?” he repeated. “Never heard of it. Sounds awful.”
“Errive,” Kalmin corrected. Then, “Yes. It is rather awful.”
There was a noncommittal shrug. “Are you going to buy anything?”
Kalmin glanced around the shop, and saw very little of anything; from his position outside, he could only see the shelves. “What do you sell?”
Again, the shopkeeper shrugged. “Stuff, same as everyone else. Come in and look.”
Kalmin did just that, entering the small place and taking his time to explore — not that there was much to explore in the first place — and was entirely thrilled by what he found. In the section marked ‘personal hygiene’, there were two kinds of scentless soap (one for males, wrapped in blue; one for females, wrapped in pink), two kinds of scentless shampoo (again, one for males and one for females), feminine products (also scentless), blades for shaving, and boxes of tissue.
In the ‘stationery’ section, there were plain notebooks (lined and unlined; all had brown covers), pens (red, blue, and black), pencils, and erasers.
He bought one of everything.
As he was leaving, the biggest and most genuine smile on his face, he bumped, quite literally, into someone. The bag he’d been carrying his items in split and fell, and there was a scramble to pick them up from both parties. He picked up a pair of sunglasses, too, which he assumed had been the other person’s. Finally, when he’d gathered what he could, he turned towards the person he’d walked into, and froze as he saw her for the first time.
She, too, froze, two pens and a notebook held out towards him, and her mouth gaped open. Neither said anything for the longest time, seconds passing by. Some time later, they both regained their ability to talk and, simultaneously, said: “You have my eyes.”
And there you have it. The start (or perhaps, half) of a story in the middle of a blog post; I’m tired, and I want to end my day with reading the Bible. I’ll probably continue this at some point tomorrow.
I would apologise, but I wouldn’t mean it and so I shall refrain. Instead, I say this: Take it, would you, for what it is. I don’t know why I wrote it other than the fact that it had to be written, nor what any of it ultimately means. It could be something deeper, or it could simply be a tale about an ordinary female and an extraordinary man. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope that, on some level, you enjoyed reading it.
Day Four Catalogue
~Ravi Zacharias @ Passion 2016
She Reads Truth:
~Hymns V; Day 2
~This is the Gospel; Day 2 and 3
~Holding Tight to Permanent; Day 4