Sometimes I feel like my footsteps erase themselves behind me. Not always. But often. Most of the time, even.
I’ve felt that way, on and off, for twenty years or so, but more often as time goes on. I’m barely here anymore. Barely real. I lived, back in the Twentieth Century, but here the Twenty-First, I merely haunt.
All my stories are old and shop-worn, all my habits of steering conversations away from the awkward questions are distressingly well-practiced. It’s not that I don’t recall much of the last few years, it’s that there seems to be so little worth recalling. Memory is hollow.
I don’t know how exactly this happened. I can’t pinpoint any single thing that made this happen, no event or choice that decisively shaped me. I can’t, at this point, individually identify all of the snowballs that made this avalanche. I just know that I am buried under it.
I have become things that would have been an absolute anathema to my younger self, like cautious and content and complacent. (I’m fucking terrified as I type this, but I know it must be done.)
It’s not that I no longer want the things I once wanted, although I have come to understand that they won’t come as easily as the me of my early twenties thought. And yet…
I’ve come too far for anything else. I’m still not ready to be normal, and I doubt that I will ever be.
But as much as I’m still in that ocean, more and more I’m treading water instead of swimming.
And it’s funny, because all this noise and splashing is for an audience that hasn’t been fooled by it in a long, long time.
And it’s sad, because all this noise and splashing, all this attention-seeking, is just a way to hide.
I don’t exactly know how to change this. I really don’t.
But I’m going to find out. Because, however much I’ve clung to the notion that there was only one, there has to be more than one way to be a grown up.
We’ll talk again on this, and soon. I’ll play you my theme songs, and hopefully you can suggest some better ones for me.