In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Tightroped: Ten for Today

3 Comments


Stay just where you are. Don’t cross that line. We drew it for a reason. Once you cross, it’s all over for us. You see, we’re only good so long as we each pace our own squares, our own patterns and affairs. The space between us, well, that’s what keeps us together.

When we meet, right there at the line, on the line actually, we can do death defying feats. We tightrope that line of yours and mine. We get tunnel vision. We narrow our gaze to the line, but see, your face takes up the view just as mine does yours. So—on the line—we only see each other’s eyes, not where the rest of the line beyond us leads.

And I rarely peek over the line into yours just as you rarely glimpse over at mine. And we keep it that way. I think we like that. This balancing act on the line.

Your square is larger than mine, yet narrower. In fact, it’s really an elevated rectangle with thick supports. Everyone supports your rectangle like scaffolding that undergirds the mansion perched on the hill. You can see the lumber dug deeply into the ground, keeping the place afloat in space, like struts smoothing out a bumpy ride. All the pot holes repaired, groomed.

My square is square, equal on all sides, though the area is smaller. The numbers–height, length, and perimeter– like an old geometry quiz, reveal significantly smaller space than yours. But there’s enough to go around for us who take up that square to meet the corners of our lives, breathing, laughing, eating and thriving. We take up less than those who seem to need more.

But it’s not just rectangles vs. squares. There’s other stuff too. Enough difference that might make mine think yours misshapen and yours view mine as distorted. You’ve said so. I’ve said it too.

So best you squelch curiosity, dampen desire and drop the dreaming. You know the allure is solely the forbidden stepping over the line—to know, for sure, what’s there. So stay there, where I can find you.

3 thoughts on “Tightroped: Ten for Today

  1. I absolutely love this!! Brilliantly written about the way both our world and our individual “worlds” confine us – Even worse if there is encouragement from the company we keep to confine ourselves out of comfort and convention. Brilliant!

  2. Thanks for your keen insight and interpretation. Always happy when my words reach another mind.

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