Thursday, September 5, 2013
I love words. Each line and curve, each sound shaped by a human mouth, contains infinities.
At some point I began to see words lining the world like bricks, every line and curve of reality bracketed on all sides by the description of it that unspools in my head. Every person that I know is a symphony of words, the memory of a thousand conversations mixing with a hundred silent realizations and that thing (or two) I keep meaning to tell them but never do. Words run through the marrow of my bones, skim over the surface of me like a second skin. My face is an accident of genetics, familiar but not particularly evocative of my identity. But read my words, and you’ll truly get a taste of who I am.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t see the world this way – memories are mostly words, the only thing left when the hazy pictures have faded away. My childhood was filled with stories: smiling out at me from brightly colored books, scribbled across construction paper by my own hands, or spinning in the air as my family passed old memories back and forth like a ball tossed in the summer sunshine. Every story contains its own little world, each word holding a crash of lightning or the sound of someone’s laughter, and I had a thousand to choose from at any one moment.
When I was younger I built them up like little castles, putting together simple stacks of word-bricks like other kids did with their super-sized Legos. The word-castles grew as I grew, developing turrets that spun upward into the heavens and moats that stretched fathoms deep. I learned how to build everything I wanted to see, shaping the words so they would radiate with the sound of someone’s laughter and follow the curve I could see so clearly in my mind. I pulled the words out of my heart, out of the hearts of those I loved, and used them to fashion blood and breath and bones.
When I die, all that will be left of me is words. The stories I’ve left behind will sit on shelves or in some forgotten corner of the Internet, and memories of me will be passed from mouth to ear among those who knew and loved me. I will live on as the thing I love the most.