The eleventh elusive thing is: Disappearance
I think. I am typing on the run - ten minutes at lunch, but I am somehow keen on writing today. If you have any questions, please ask. I hope I am making sense. Apparently I am more enthusiastic about this meme than I anticipated.
John has lost everything and precedent tells him he will lose everything again. He is always the outsider, the one really on the other side, permitted but rarely, so rarely welcomed. Who is he, to want, to ask? Not to want. Sometimes it is a struggle. Sometimes it is all that is possible, no matter how he wills otherwise. He can disappear, slip out the door at any time and he will not be missed or mourned. And he is keenly aware of this. It tips his lips in a smile, polite, wanting warmth but already gone. What can he do? Cry? No, he is not weak, just despairing. He has to ask. May I come, would I be welcome. There is rarely invitation. Riding after Wyatt long ago on the road to Tombstone, a fast horse on a loose rein racing the slow wagons. Wyatt even. Wyatt. Bat had said, "And Wyatt brought Doc to Tombstone in his covered wagon." But, no matter how he tries to deny it, it was not really like that, was it? Not really. He pushes it to the back of his mind. Far back. He wishes his mind were a table, that he could push that small sorrow off the back forever, but it is a shelf and is stopped by the wall - sanity. If he did not ask for place or company, there would be nothing but dignity. If he asks, it is weakness, making himself small. Why is it not small for others to ask him, but benevolence? He does not know, tries not to think of it. If he closes his mind to it, he disappears. He can bear anything. Physical pain, cruelty, illness displacement. It is all right. He is not there. He has nothing to lose. It is easier so. What? His broken body, his life, his few replaceable possessions? It lets him give, lets him strive. That is what he does all day, to fill the time against the fearsome void of loneliness. Work. Build a better future. Practice. Yet there is that small light and he tries. He loves and tries. Because he loves he does not want this for those he loves. He works against it with all he has.
This is not a new thing but perhaps a summary. A little Death, a little Alienation, a little Memory.