"Because if there's just been black since you remember, grey will seem like white until you see a lighter grey - until a yet lighter grey - and this way, you'll never know white from grey, even if you got there eventually."
His hand muscles always got somewhat tense when he spoke about something he cared about.
She continued looking at him intently as she agreed, "It is. It gives the most convincing - not to mention terrific - illusion of clarity."
His head turned sharply in her direction and he said, louder than before, his hands tenser, but face just as calm, "No, you don't seem to get it."
"Of course I do."
"No. You absolutely don't."
They both sat staring at the still water before them and the green hillocks beyond the lake for about five minutes or so, and then left.
"I feel like an absolute misfit here, sometimes."
"Where?" he asked indifferently.
"This world we're in."
"What do you think about others? You think everybody fits in seamlessly here?"
"Most seem to be doing well."
He looked around at the trees, and after a good two minutes or so, returned his attention to her.
He said, "Everybody has problems. Some adjust, some don't. Of those who don't, some complain and some are creative enough to finds ways to deal with it effectively, and find their place."
"Some may also begin to enjoy the discomfort."
"That sounds like some medical condition."
"Discomfort can be beautiful."
"I don't know anybody who wishes for it or likes it."
"Yes, because we are hardwired to dislike it, to wish it away, to actively work on making it go away. But leave that aside for a moment, and talk about quitting avoiding it. What about if you kept it close to you, by your side? It could land you in a beautiful place."
"So, when you said you feel like an absolute misfit here, you didn't raise it as a problem."
"I did - "
She paused for a moment, and spoke again,
" - but that's for another reason. Forget about that, and tell me, have you ever felt as if your thoughts were not your own - belonging to you, but not truly your own, just some response to everything around you - a solution to whatever of the situation your brain can gather and compute, a rearrangement of everything it can grasp combined with your own motives - and I am not talking here about motives you chose."
"You mean the idea that you're all preprogrammed against that feeling that there is something more to you than that-"
"Why won't you answer me? Have you been there?"
"Does it make you feel anything?"
"Do you think it would be interesting if it did?"
"I'm not sure," he said, quickly.
"Because it deviates from - "
"It's just a little crazy, nothing else."
They both sat staring at the trees a little more. Then he let out a sigh and said to her, "Such pursuits are seldom useful. I don't know, but I get the sense that this will soon turn into something unpleasant for you."
She didn't say anything. They sat for a little while longer, and then got up and went home.
Next morning, he made coffee for her, kissed her and told her to have a good day at work.
Once she left, he picked up his notepad and wrote.
On her way to work, she thought about the difference between people who liked their windows rolled down and those who didn't. People who sometimes did this and sometimes that didn't qualify to be part of this thought.
A few days later, they were back by the lake.
"We need to find a new spot," he said, chucking a stone into the distance.
"No, I am serious."
"Of course you are."
"This place creates the need to continue our last conversation here, in the same mood. All the times we've come here feels like just one long day in all that never ends."
"Starting from the day we met?"
"I feel nearly the same way."
"Hmm. Are you still in love with me?"
They sat there talking nevertheless, for about a half hour more, about things that didn't make any difference to their lives or how they led them.
The following evening, he sat on his chair reading something, and she was seated comfortably on the floor near his feet, writing something while humming a song they both recognized. His hand occasionally found the side of her head and when it did, he stroked her hair gently, briefly.
The next morning, she had left for work before he'd woken up.
On her way, she wondered what home was for her. Was it at all about comfort? No, she thought, more about finding herself in a new place every time. That felt like home, yes. She looked forward to returning to him in the evening.
Meanwhile, he opened his notepad to a fresh page and began writing.
[link: Their Ways - I]