In high school, I often tried to just read the Sparknotes version of my summer reading books, but it was like pouring a bunch of sand into my hands – everything slipped out. I would forget what I’d “read” because at the end of the day, I’m someone who remembers subtleties. I retain in specifics, not generalizations. Admittedly, this habit means I’m 100% incapable of telling anything remotely resembling a “short version” of a story. Someone once commented that I recount things in “real time” and from time to time I’m sure that gets frustrating. I guess I just feel the smaller aspects of life are more important.
The funny thing about missing a person is that the more time goes by, the more the little things are what I miss. There’s something to be said for knowing someone beyond blatant personality traits or striking physical features. When you’ve known someone your whole life, you know more than just what meets the eye. You know their quirks, their irrational tendencies. You know the way they absentmindedly twirl their hair or what it sounds like when they’re walking down the hall. You know their turns of phrase, their tones of voice. You know their details.
There’s a certain intimacy in knowing the smaller, less expected parts of a person. Such knowledge implies that you’ve spent ample amounts of time together. It suggests that you’re someone important, that you’ve been around for a while or at least pay attention. As with impressionist paintings, when it comes to people, the parts turn out to be greater than the whole. When we love someone, we love every little brush stroke, for without each one’s contribution, there could be no whole masterpiece of a person. Love and life, it seems, are in the details.