While she sits contemplating movement, she is in vintage: Slow describes evolution and the way the universe works. Life on earth was set in motion only billions of years after earth’s existence. Slow was part of the formula that led the universe to have unfolded this way: Atom by atom, molecule by molecule, bit by bit and every second that preceded the next, still a part to add to the whole. It needed to take its time and continues to teach us how to. We see this in how everything moves, through the tides and the changing of seasons. But if there is anything unfashionable, it is without a doubt, this. This that brought us here in the first place.
Slow is the perfect suit for us to have discovered fire and how it makes meat taste better after waiting. Slow is the coat that taught men that together they can build families –before they can build civilizations. Slow is the robe that made the wheel, and also the one that built machinery. Slow is how we find ourselves here, where we have abandoned it to prefer undressing quickly, for strangers. Slow is the way love makes and moves in us, with us, so we can move in sync with an other and one another. From a brutish, animalistic dependence, it is in this rhythm we learned the nuances of what people can mean to us: mother, sister, friend, lover, or enemy.
The commonplace notion is that “each day in which we wear down slowly, we run out of time”. But each day in which we choose to wear slowly, we in fact take in our hands so that time moves with us and not the other way around. Slow is also perceived as worn only by those who are weak but truly, slow is an armor for the brave. These days, slow is luxurious, like hope, it has become expensive and ill-fitting –either too big or too small. It is something that nobody wears anymore. Slow, at its best, has been referred to as “perfect timing”, sometimes serendipity, but this is how it has always been only garish and perpetually out of fashion.
If the grass is not watered, it turns brown. If the dog is not fed, it will die. As a child, in order to understand how the world works, she had to learn the negative consequences of being without something essential.
In her youth, she learned that the word Need was used loosely, like how a scarf was sometimes worn in warmer climates. A young man once told her, I Need You and she could not understand what this meant. She knew that without her, he would not turn brown or die. Without her, he would still be able to breathe; his limbs and body would not cease to function. Her being Necessary to him, seemed as ill-fitting as a sweater worn on a beach.
A little older but not at all wiser, she finally understood what he meant. The young man had loved her; it was easy for anyone to confuse love for a synonym – to what is meant by Necessary.
But it was a particularly criminal heartbreak, in which it was her heart that was broken that taught her: Not, all consequences are seen, but felt. And not all words are worn by the body, nor vindicated by science.
Somehow, wrapped only in blankets and with what she once thought was necessary shed and forgotten, it sometimes still hurts.
If she wears this tonight, you will never like her nor love her as you think and claim you do. It will become a habit for you to expect this on her and it will insult her very existence. When you met her, you remember that she might have worn something like this. But maybe it was because that moment required a dress code. In reality, there is no such thing. If you want to like her, maybe even love her, you will realize that she has never worn this word, and that on her own, without your eyes, she breathes confidently without it. If it is truth that you seek, one day in the light, in each other’s warmth, as you walk beside her, you will catch a glimpse of something that is true, and you will understand then how she wears this word in her own way, and not the way you want her to.
Today she is trying on the word Hope. She is in the dressing room, admiring her reflection, scrutinizing the fit of the word against her body. She scrunches her nose when she realizes she’s wearing the word wrong. She quickly takes it off. Her fingers fumble for the tag and it reads: “Worn as a heart warmer”. Sinking into the lone armchair in the dressing room, she is carefully considering the usefulness of such a beautiful thing and wonders whether or not she can afford it.