Cutting Strings

Author: Carlos Dos Santos, C’17 

It was late, so late at night. We were sitting–he on one side of the room, and I on the other. Something was happening, something was changing. Christmas lights were hung upon the wall; they were the only lights in the room. All outside was darkness. The lights upon the wall, like creeping luminescent vines caressing the walls and roof, twinkled upon the reflection of the window glass, so that nothing outside could be seen. In that moment the outer darkness could not plague us, could not hurt or separate us. Being in that room was all that was, it was all that existed–that moment itself is all we had–it held us both, for a moment, still.

Over the course of the three-hour conversation, something had changed. The mist was gone. I could see now, not just through the air, but also through to my friend. He was, in a way, reborn among the small scintillating lights. I was reborn in his eyes, too. It was as if the questions and answers that spewed forth from our curious minds doused each of us, baptized us, gave us a sense of communion that brought us closer. It was as if those small lights were burning into me–embedding an undying, pleasant memory upon my mind.

It was, to be fair, so very cliché. I usually hate cliché, but I made an exception just this once. It was a moment of revelation, that monumental epiphany when realizing the creation of an everlasting friendship. Considering the fact that there aren’t many people who can fill that role, it was a special moment. There was finally clarity, the barriers were all gone–and was it all through a simple conversation?

So much knowledge, so much power, conveyed between us. And is this how it all goes? Is this, perhaps, the answer to so many of our troubles? We plunge ourselves, together, into the dark depths of an ocean, we morph and change, we destroy what was and create what now is, and emerge upon the shore as–as what? Different beings, but the difference is something only we can detect within each other, invisible to the outside world.

And that is the final product of these last four months–not just creating friendship, but also realizing the necessity, the importance, of taking those we do not know, removing ourselves with them from reality, from all the invisible strings that make up our world, our rules, and that hold us back, keep us from being with one another and limiting us in discovering the whole truth about each other, and define humanity. We define this humanity by breaking what we do not understand within each other, by taking the unknown in our hearts and in others’ hearts and converting it, evolving it into something new that allows us to understand those around us.

That is progress, that is good, that is knowledge­– knowledge we discover from those in which we never thought we would find knowledge in the first place. It is by breaking all those strings that entangle us in a world of false reality and prejudice that we keep humanity in its purest form, how we keep each other united, and how we, as human beings, keep each other human.

That was my epiphany–three hours later as I look at the clock on my friend’s bedside table– it lasted a second, it lasted an eternity. And even though it was only one conversation, I am glad to know that the number of invisible strings–those unfortunate byproducts of a corrupt existence–has diminished by one in my world.




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