by Tim Major
O neighbours! If only we might speak!
Do you feel as I feel? Do you think as I think? Here we are, all crouching in our circle, so close to one another. It is maddening.
I see your people come and go. I hear snippets of their conversations. They are happy, your people, are they not? It is healthy, all this coming and going. But we remain rooted, facing one another implacably.
We are so young: sixteen this coming year. How many people have we had between us?
Recently I have paid less attention to your people than to mine, I confess. But in those early days, in those first glimmerings of consciousness, I was empty and I watched you all with intense fascination. There seemed so much to learn, and the opportunities for my education so few. Your people hurried to and fro — on what errands I had no way of imagining — and when they returned they appeared so grateful to see you. I came to distinguish between adults — more direct in their routes across our cul-de-sac, bustling into the cars on your driveways — and children, who dallied and bickered, whose movements were a joy to me. The children belonged to the adults and the adults belonged to you. When your people were nestled within you I gazed at the sky and the fields. I tested the radius of my attention, peering as far beyond my walls as possible. I perceived the disturbances of animals in the long grasses and swooping above me, I saw trees bending with the force of an unseen hand, I saw the rust-coloured roofs of the village that is tied to our cul-de-sac by an umbilical lane. I called out to you. I beckoned to your people. I was alone.
I was unoccupied. (Continue Reading…)