I’m not busy

I saw somebody say this – those exact words in answer to a question, ‘I guess you are really busy.’ And the person answered, ‘No, I’m not busy.’ She was young.

I say I ‘saw’ somebody say it because I did see it. The utterance was so shocking and unexpected that I saw it. Saw her face and her mouth meaning it. I’d never heard it before, and never have again. I never forgot it.

Because when she said it, her face had so much movement and her thoughts didn’t crash into anything. Imagine the staggering reality of not being busy. A big space of wasted grass with no list. No shopping. No plans except one that’s still on the fridge from last year. And walking next to fences. Rain on your thumbnails. No gasping for air already used up first thing in the morning. Waiting with both feet down. Marking the back of your hand with a dry paintbrush. Evening. Where light and night even out into a nice flat plum. Imagine your time with a faint slice of beautiful thick emptiness right at the bottom. And your feet planted, both down on the warm wet bricks and you seeing that.

Painting by Carlos San Millan