Waiting Room

I am waiting for the doctor at the  clinic. There’s something quite transitory about this room itself. As if the collective anxiety of people who have waited here for years have crystallized into invisible stalactites of fear. I think of all the pointless waiting. Prisoners waiting to be gassed, murderers to be electrocuted and couples to be married. I think of corridors that never lead to rooms. Then I think of people in stores asking for extended warranties. I think of permanent club memberships. I think of home appliances that last for a decade. I smile through the stalactites as the lady calls out my number.

In Murakami’s Landscape with Flatiron, Miyake says something about our life being guided by how we are going to die. Though it contains within it the seductive morbidity of a Murakami idea, it suggests that to live, we have to work out our deaths. Perhaps not in a specific, factual manner, but at least as a larger knowing that enables us to sit back inside and live free. If not, maybe we’ll always carry the fear of not knowing when or what - and stay locked in our own waiting rooms. Poetry, however light and inconsequential it appears to be, like every authentic attempt at writing, is that patient gnawing at the outer walls of the unknown - sometimes profound, sometimes impatient, sometimes indifferent, sometimes unhurried, sometimes playful, yet always alive.


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