The voices envelop me, warmly, taking me away from myself to put me in myself. They give me spatial understanding. From here I can think and I can fly, and meanwhile, the world won’t go away.
I’m drowning but not drowning, suffocating in the most pleasing of ways. I’m turned off and turned on, by the chatter, the claustrophobia, the reminder of context which reminds me I’m real and at the same time that I’m not, because I float through them, around them, separate but intimately together.
I love them.
But they hurt me so.
They hurt me when they hurt themselves. When they gossip about one another, when they complain and reinforce their pain, when they deny themselves of the joy of recognizing their sadness, and why it’s there and what it means about them and their humanity. When they cover it up, when they hold back for fear of a misunderstood connection, when they sip their beverage before it has had a chance to cool, and burn their tongue and the roof of their mouth and they feel the tinged skin subtly vibrate with a sting during every subsequent sip. And they sip anyway.
When they let the love for each other slip through their fingertips, to float away with the cosmic dust that possibly has a destiny but most likely will continue to drift further apart because without attraction and incorporation into a complexly ordered system there is inevitable entropy and a diffusion towards chaos and then, maybe one day a momentary calm evenness before quite possibly being sucked into an unconsolidated vacuum to be recycled and vomited into meaningful existence again.
Yeah, this is what their voices envelop me in these days. But it’s better than the anxiety.