In the middle it is difficult to ascertain the beginning of things let alone the ends. Though I feel my body and soul going through a progression of sorts, changing and shifting, transforming into a new, maybe not entirely better, version of me, I cannot pinpoint, (though I try with great verve, like marking a gigantic Sharpie X on a map), where and when this move began and with the same alacrity I fail every time to envision where it will end. Suddenly, I am Gregor Samsa cleaning behind my ear with a hairy pincer. Parts of my hardened shell are already flaking away and I just acquired it. Suddenly, you find yourself missing yourself. You suddenly miss everyone you ever knew. Because they knew you and perhaps now they do not or if they do they wonder: what happened? It was so sudden, you say blinking, disbelieving your own words, coming out of your own mouth. So sudden.
I know now that almost everyone wonders about this stuff, sooner or later and no matter what he or she is doing, but one of the sundry blessings of being thirty, forty, is the conviction, sired by many years in the trenches, that nothing exactly like this, all evidence to the contrary, has ever happened to anyone before.
I feel so utterly alone in this. Here I am listening to ambient music, staring out the window at birds, and thinking, oh crap, when did this happened? Of course, I gave up booze and meat well over a decade ago and life goes on and you change, but I always thought I would have friends and family around. Geography makes for odd family relations. It is all in the mail or on the telephone. But friends, friends like the kind I had growing up or the ones like in university or first jobs, they are just not materializing. And it is for lack of trying, I am afraid and that is what I am trying to figure out, when this happened, when I decided not to pick up the phone, not to return the electronic messages, the gestures, the offers. And now since it has transpired, it seemingly cannot be undone and I am sunk: without a friend in sight. That is cruel and untrue, of course, but fairly honest. I have friends, but either their restricted to locales and occasions or they have become as inaccessible as me. Why I can only hazard to guess. They have their own transformations to contend with, to figure out. What might work is a gigantic gathering where we all convene to explain why we never get together any more. But the whole shebang would be messy and ugly, and I am tired of those kinds of things, now. Now that I am this new me, this me without friends. The snake swallows its tail, I know, I know. See?
I have long held the fantasy that I will one day knuckle the sleep from my eyes and find that it has been all a dream and everyone will be there, and we will all be laughing and crying and carrying on. Our bodies are sun colored and immaculate, our souls like as paper airplanes. And I will be there too, off in the corner, and stricken with an amazement that buzzes the bones, hanging onto you, to something, that was there in the beginning and you or it tell me what to be on the lookout for pointing and squeezing me in tighter.