Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nathan

I was in the grip of a crisis that was moving rapidly from spiritual to existential when I met Nathan.

Life was full of questions, questions that took without asking. I was empty and alone.

Nathan had a free flowing energy and looseness in the way he moved that was practically gangster. Wherever his power came from, he never tried to hold it - he just let it flow through him.

I wanted that power.

On the surface Nathan was open and friendly - accessible. Underneath he was the eye of the storm. Choosing to be his friend meant stepping out of the darkness and in to the storm.

I took the step.

One night Nathan was talking and I was listening. He purposefully picked up his polystyrene cup and had a sip of water. I had turned my cup into a pile of inorganic rubble an hour earlier.

In that moment, the moment of the cups, I had a flash of insight. I saw myself and I didn’t like what I saw.

From that moment I soaked up everything Nathan had to say. He had ideas about how you should be in this world. He thought you should look after your mind and body. You shouldn’t care too much about the girls or Gods that don’t love you.

I started to jog before work and would read classics in the evening. I started to focus on what I wanted rather than what I didn’t understand.

The contents of my mind changed from a jumble of unfinished sentences to a purposeful calm.

It happened gradually, but overtime I realised, the closer I got to my goal, to my power, the further I was from Nathan. I still admired him but I could see that his path was not mine. Both of us were too focused for the compromise of ongoing friendship.

The last time I saw Nathan I was in a clothes shop. Nathan must have been working there because I overheard a young couple telling him he was amazing and too good to be a shop assistant.

Actually no, I did see him one last time; I was waiting in line at the supermarket checkout. He told me he was trying to find a new job and he had a daughter. He spoke softly and I could tell he had changed.

He handed me my groceries and I left with an awkward good-bye.
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