1435 c/o Crispin Best

I Am Amazingly Patient.
I Am Amazingly Humble.
I Am Alone. I Am Not Alone Enough.

I am amazingly patient. Sometimes I wait for weeks for things. I just stand there and wait. Sometimes the thing I’m waiting for happens, sometimes not and my eyes slowly close.

Today I was in a train. It was underground. A woman wore blue nail polish. A man zipped and unzipped the cover on his squash racquet. Three Chinese girls compared little fingers. The train stopped in the tunnel. An old lady sighed. I did not sigh. I was amazingly patient.

I am amazingly humble. This may sound like a contradiction or a joke. It is not. It is a fact. People often pay me compliments and I say,
      - No, no.
      And they say.
      - Oh. You are amazingly humble.
      And I say,
      - No, no.
      And they say,
      - Come on, now.
      And they get fed up and walk away.
      It is better to admit that you are humble. I am amazingly humble.

Today someone said to me,
      - You have kind eyes.
      And I said,
      - No, no. You have kind words. What countries border Tunisia?
      This was to change the subject. We were on a train. It is important to be humble on a train. There are so many ways a train can hurt you.

I am alone. I am totally alone. When I am on the train and the man next to me is doing the crossword and I know what “11. Depression - Animal food holder (6)” is, and he is tapping the empty squares with his pen, I am totally alone. When I am practising the glockenspiel and making lots of mistakes I am totally alone. When I am drawing with crayons and there is a sunset I am totally alone.

I am alone and I wear a hat and part of me wonders if it’s silly to wear a hat when you’re alone. I am alone.

I am not alone enough. Sometimes I am alone and someone will come and talk to me. They will ask me directions to the nearest supermarket. I will look up at them until they leave. Sometimes other people will hit me with their body as they walk past. Others will laugh at my bare feet. And I will not be alone enough.

I want to get in a train. And I want to ride for two days. And I want to find some woods. And I want to go into the woods and meet a man named Herman. And Herman will be alone. Herman will have a beard that looks like soap suds or old newspaper. He will have bare feet. Me and Herman will be alone. We will live in the woods. We will each build a monastery. Herman will teach me how to survive in the woods, what mushrooms I shouldn't eat and how to climb for nuts. I will grow a beard like Herman's. We will be alone. And we won't bother each other except to compliment each other’s humility or monastery. And that will happen only very occasionally, on a specified date. We will be alone.

We will be alone.

We will live alone for a long, long time.

And we will die alone.

We will die alone in the woods, thank god.