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"The School of Athens" by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
"Bad fences eventually fall, leaving the finest neighbors of all."

If I could receive my druthers, there would be no divorce, dislocation, dismemberment, or death. I do not always get my way. Some separation naturally occurs. Someone moves away. A phone number goes missing. Another commits Facebook Suicide and falls off that corner of my Earth. I slip into one of my signature periodic depressions and consume my presence with paranoia. Any of at least ten thousand individual causes might conspire to separate one from another, and once unbound, that once thriving relationship stays unfound, sometimes permanently, or seemingly so. We live in big ruts, unable to even imagine up and over the sides. We stay inside rather than venturing out. I hermit, and claim to prefer the lifestyle. The Muse might know better. She forces me up and out to wander about, to see what I might otherwise never even imagine seeing.

I'm at root a big chicken.
I specialize in letting apparently sleeping dogs lie. I rarely even try to change what I explain must be my natural trajectory. I ache for sameness, not usually for change. The Muse notices a waning vitality and usually prescribes the same damned thing. I should pick up the phone and make that call. I could actually drive that distance without any tragedy befalling anyone. I could at least try to become visible again, crawl out from under that big shadowy hand basket and engage with some semblance of my world. I live a rich fantasy life, one where we're all intimately connected and mutually appreciative. My fictions serve as an abiding reality and I feel no particular absence overwhelming me, at least not until I finally accede to her suggestion and do drop in. I make that call. I presume easy acceptance. I reach out. Someone almost always reaches back.

The Muse can be pushy sometimes, more than simply nudging me out the door. She might make an initial connection, then step back to watch genuine magic happen. And genuine magic does happen. Reconnections occur, and they tend toward the absolutely magical. I wonder what created the distance finally breached? What besides an unlikely convergence opened the possibility for Reconnection again? There and then, some damned thing happened, just as some damned things seem to daily intrude. A small separation became a seemingly permanent one right up to just before their permanence fell away. And all that separation does seem to simply fall away in that moment of sweet Reconnection. No explanation's required. No reconciliation demanded. A world once torn apart simply falls back together again. Still friends? No doubt!

The Muse knows me to be genuinely Schmaltzy, cloying sentimentality always near my surface. I maintain a minor master status in the Lumpy Throat Competition. I tear and choke up with hardly a provocation. I might seem sanguine from the outside, but hold a burning caldron within. I can be a fierce friend. I wound easily. I sense a sudden absence of safety and I simply disappear, often for years, sometimes forever. Ties still bind, however, however violent a dislocation. I never forget how I loved you and never really got over believing that our love was true. Something within me knew we might find each other again, that bygones would eventually become what they were always destined to become, bygones again. The future opens up and possibilities return seemingly refreshed from their long winter's nap. A spring emerges from the long dark days. Snow melts and a flash of genuine green appears along the hedgerow holding the property line. Bad fences eventually fall, leaving the finest neighbors of all.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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