Jamais Vu

Every step is forced, intense. Her
pacing is out of sync with the sidewalk cracks. One, two, three, crack, one, two, crack, one, two, three, four, crack, one, two... It’s something to think about. My god, she needs literally anything to think about.

She hates that she is alone - and she hates that she hates being alone.

Perhaps “lonely” is a better descriptor. She is, in fact, surrounded by people - in her life, and on this sidewalk in suburbia. Children playing with chalk. Joggers with music so loud she can hear it through their air pods. Sounds of children, joggers, and faint workout music.

And yet, she is a porcelain vase; Fragile, cracked, and hollow. She wonders, Is there any virtue in going through the motions? What will smiling on a sunny day really do for her? It’s cliché. It’s stupid. The human psyche is too complex to be assuaged by a bumper sticker adage.

...There she goes again. Being introspective. She needs to get out of her own head. Her eyes dart about to spot anything her mind can latch onto.

A small bird with a sharp beak and muted colors perches on an electric wire nearby. It sings.

Just a few lines, longer than a
haiku but shorter than a sonnet. She can hear it. The young avian mother has lost her fledglings to a predator... or a storm, or a child throwing rocks... The details are less important than the sentiment. The song is forced, intense. And yet, it is a song all the same. It is the vivid language that comes only from a poet in distress. She is alone, but not alone.

Why is art so often borne of pain? She thinks. She feels pretentious. At least she feels something at all. And so she she sits down on the curb and begins writing.



Deliberately... til the words reach semantic satiation. She stares at the letters on the page, devoid of context, simple graphite glyphs separated from meaning by the fleeting sensation of Jamais Vu. Rising from the curb, she smiles in spite of herself. She doesn’t think about how her smile is a song she is silently singing in defiance of her own thoughts.

The truth is, she will feel this dread again, but she will overcome it again. For now, she smiles and walks, trusting her steps will not always be forced and intense. One, two, crack, one, two, three, crack, one, two, three, four, crack, one, two...