Perhaps one day you will ask for something that you want but do not need, or even need but don’t quite understand. On a lark, let’s say, out of a “why not?” not exactly exasperation nor as fueled as curiosity, almost a simple value, who knows, but perhaps you do.
How will they respond to your free request (a spontaneity without expectation) now having burdened them with options? You had thought it a gift, an eruption, a “no harm done,” “nothing to lose,” but of course, in the world, there is more.
So your request floats out, on the air, like a streamer, swaying and curving, rippling past the subjects to which it’s addressed. For some it’s a slap, for others a trial, still others just dodge it and head for silent hills.
You had thought it a good, an offering of joy, a connection and possibility, not something to wind or to bind. Never something so knotty. A kind of safe enclosure that’s open, a meadow of sorts, where gentle counterparts might convene when they wanted or needed and whomever appeared could relate.
But in order to appear each required a turn, of attention, of glance, of an ear – to surmise and to meet, to attend. Bodies incapable of severance. Could they send an arm, an eye, a knee or other organ, they happily would, provided it would not be missed any elsewhere (their “here”) – and this proved impossible.
One respondent, upon lending a hand, was not able to help his young son tie his shoes. Another offered her hair only to find herself fired from her workplace. Each was affected by your generous request while you were left with dismembered parts in your park.
Unintentional, no doubt, you found as well that it was not spare fragments you were needing for your want. The severed hand grew stiff and cold under your knees; the hair like strands of sand in the night on your chest. The smells were changing. The eyes you’d assembled were distracted, neither here nor there the parts were failing.
In an awkward flashing of a dream a teacher’s voice arrived with cliché: “be careful what you wish for.” You’ve been waking to that for awhile.