Old Shadow

I’ve been chewing on the words “twenty twenty one” a whole lot these last few weeks and they just don’t go down right. There’s an uncanny sense the earth’s been spinning a little too fast and the world’s been hoodwinked into counting store brand days.

I met an old friend recently- well I say friend because I can’t bring myself say the actual words because they might ring out like a foul incantation.
I find it difficult to imagine a family member with whom I might feel a kind of solidarity. In a rather embarrassing fact of life, I was a bit too young to actually register the kindness and support we found in each other. It must have been a rather bleak home to have six year old me as the only source of good conversation.

However incomprehensible I find our camaraderie with only a self centered void where they recount old tales, I find it strange how they became a persistent phantom in my life. The empty figure becoming an archetype I see in my friends and the ones who aren’t. I have been looking for the same person over and over again. The way I talk to people, the same pantomime playing out again and again. Yet after casting a shadow that’s followed me my entire life I’ve nothing left to say to the progenitor. We’re not the same people anymore and you can’t search for old ghosts when nothing is the same. Like me, my old companion has forgotten who they were and unlike me have no reasons to look back, with so much in the present.

Previously I only had fragments. Fragments of other scandalous fragments, angsty, adolescence oriented Japanese TV programming that hinted at transgression. I could never find these shows a second time which gave the memories an esoteric quality always maddeningly out of reach of my hands that only grasp the bleakest realisms that forced themselves on me. I have drifted, constantly, relentlessly in the dull tyranny of my circumstance.

I’ve always had the notion that relations are panopticons. I can’t bear the foolish mouth sucking guards uniformed in familiarity saying isn’t it nice? Are we all getting along? Aren’t you glad we’re here? I don’t know what to say; I’m fighting the urge to do what comes naturally, hoping I’ll float away. One day I’ll leave them all behind.

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