She knew there was someone out there for her, someone just like her, and that she would find that someone eventually. But they told her that to find him she would have to go out and do things, make friends, maybe even travel. And she thought that if she went out and did these things, she might be taken out of herself, become a different person, and then she wouldn’t know what kind of someone she wanted because she wouldn’t know who she herself was. She would be a different person, and if then she met him how would she know it was him? If she met him now, if he came to her door, or if he picked up her keys when she dropped them on the street, today, on the bridge, she would know, they would both know instantly, they would recognize it in each other’s eyes, that thing that made them different from the others, the thing the others couldn’t understand. That’s how they would know each other, they would recognize themselves in each others’ eyes instantly, wordlessly. But if she went out and did all those things to find the one who was meant for her, she might become like them, and then he would fade away and multiply and become an anyone rather than that someone. But, she thought, I’ve stayed here for so long alone, and if I remain here will I continue to be myself? Will I even know who I am? Will I be able to respond when someone calls my secret name? Why do I long to meet him if not to find myself in him, to be completed in his eyes? Can I continue to live like this without losing so much of myself that I won’t recognize myself in him if I see him? Maybe he’s living the same way, thinking these thoughts at this moment, somewhere in this city, the one among millions, and maybe he too feels it’s getting late, that if he doesn’t find me soon it will be too late, he’ll have lost so much of himself that he won’t be able to recognize himself in me if he sees me. Then maybe if we do meet we’ll think one another just another of the millions, just one of the others, and he’ll hand me my keys without looking at me and I’ll mumble thanks and we’ll go on our way in opposite directions across the bridge over the dirty water, thinking the same thoughts as each other. Then we’ll both have to choose between going out or dying inside, we’ll be forced to give up on the idea of each other, on our idea of ourselves in each other, on our idea of ourselves. We’ll finally have to become like the others, we’ll lose the only beautiful thing in the world and disperse into the others, become dirty water, become fish, multiple, and all will be lost.
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one's ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
Notes for a fragmentary novel entitled The Moment, linked at the top of the page.
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