Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Note to Self

Where have you been? You don’t call. You don’t write. I don’t even know who you are anymore. You left without warning or provocation. No card or vase of flowers or mint to place on the bedsheets. All I hear from you are vague stories of who-did-what-now, and none of it seems real to me. You went into hiding for, goodness, seems like ages now. There is so much that I’ve wanted to say to you, and if you’re listening, please don’t take any of this the wrong way.

We have unfinished business. I know we may never come to reconcile our differences, but you must know that I feel a part of me is being chipped away slowly, and has been since you left. There are so many clich├ęs and recycled metaphors I could blather on about here – the lights are on… the house is a cold shell… etc, etc – but that is why I need you here. Nothing is genuine anymore. It has all become a clever set of parlor tricks and illusions. Sure I could tell you that there is a bucket of acid in the pit of my stomach, but even that is borrowed, probably from Yeats or Joyce or someone out there with something meaningful to say.

But I have nothing meaningful to say. I am like a cardboard cutout of some character in a story. I have taught myself how to get by in this world by tricking people. I am a salesman – a charlaton – a faker. I convince people to enter my home and look at my little nick-nacks and conversation pieces. Some stay long enough to try my lemonade, but learn fairly rapidly that the scene is hastily deteriorating into an episode of Seinfeld. I win over those enraptured by light shows and do-hickeys and gismos and spy gadgets and spectacle. They stay long enough to escape the minutae of their own lives by joining briefly the Tupperware Party that is my life. This grand Bundt cake.

All of the meaning in my life is gone, and has been for some time now. I get by, sure, and some people in my situation might rather maintain the company of their boring selves to the greatest lengths, just so that they won’t have to face what they’ve lost. I need the conflict you bring me, because with it comes the meaning I seek. I am willing to sacrifice my comfort, because I have nothing left to lose.

But what about your life? Are you going to hide forever? There is much we can learn from each other, you know. I wish I could say I enjoyed our talks together, but its no secret that they were fun for neither of us. But we were younger then, all caught up in the mix of figuring out how shit works and why everyone seems to want to keep us down. The more disconnected we became, the more empty and sedated I felt. The more I thought that simply taking it would be the easiest way to deal. I could have used you then, because you are stronger than I am. I have the brains of a fox, but possess the courage of a doe.

And so what now? I have no idea if you will ever get this message, but I just want you to know that as long as you are not here, I’m wasting my time. The story of my experience is incomplete without you, and I think that it’s about time we have ourselves a little cup of coffee and talk.