She stared at the square image of a pair of hands in front of her, and through the limited size of her cellphone screen, she recognized him.
It’s him. She recognizes the hand.
She recognizes the fingers, the way they are curled as if ready to grasp something, anything, that comes his way. Exactly how he lives his life.
She could tell it was him in the picture from the shape of the nails; the way they are trimmed, and how the edges are always a bit dirty, though she never understands why they are dirty.
She never asks.
There were many things she understands about him, just as many as the things she doesn't. But she stopped asking since a long time ago. She learned that questions unsettled him. And after some time, questions unsettled her too. So she stopped asking questions, not only to him, but also to life.
What people talked about as moving with the flow of life, is more like a merry-go-round to her. Sometimes you’re a few inches below life, sometimes you’re a few inches off the ground. Never too high, never too low, and even if it is, it doesn't feel like it, especially when you look back over your shoulders when everything has passed, because we are the masters of denial of our own misery. That’s what she thought.
The world is a merry-go-round, a few inches up, a few inches down, a few inches further, and before you know it you’re back where you were before, ready to be spinning in the same orbit again, running on the same path again, chasing whatever it is in front of you, reaching out to grasp whatever it is in front of you and fail every single time because they are just like you, spinning in the same orbit, running on the same path, just a few inches ahead of you.
So there's not point asking questions to life. The world is a merry-go-round and it is easier if you just know your place and stop asking questions.
‘That's pathetic’, he said, with a pair of eyes looking at hers sadly. And he left whatever questions he had hanging in the air because like her, he also knows that questions unsettle her too.
Being her usual sensitive self, she recognized the sadness in his eyes. She wondered why but kept it to herself.
‘The world is a merry-go-round, flowing like water and philosophy be damned.’ Thus, she said.
The world is a merry-go-round but somehow they never really return to where they were before. Probably there's a glitch in the mechanism of the universe. Probably all the spinning and twirling got a little too harsh and things and particles and fate and wishes are thrown out of orbit.
Because it seems that something has been shifting along the way, and every single time, they were brought back a few inches further from where they were. Just a few inches further, but never closer to each other.
She stared at the pair of hands in the square image on her screen. Judging from the way the picture was taken, it seems that it was made based on his request. It wasn't like him to leave his face out of the frame though, but perhaps he's changed now. With all the spinning and twirling of the merry-go-round, it's only normal, she thinks.
Once again she finds herself in amazement. How easy it is for her to recognize him, even when he's moved a few inches from where he was before, changed a little bit from how he was before, hiding a little bit more than he used to.
She recognizes the hands, the veins that run from his wrist to the tips of his fingers, the way it held out in front of him, embracing everything that life has to offer, or the way it curled back moving away from her, some time during the bumpy ride of the merry-go-round. She recognizes him, from afar, from up close, with closed eyes, through the brightest day, under the darkest shadow.
They can zoom in his picture down to pixels, she thinks, and she would still be able to recognize him.
With that thought, she leaned herself back to the chair and close her eyes. It's not so much of a consolation, but it is the one thing about him that doesn't leave her unsettled.
She recognizes him, and the life in him.