“… Nothing stays still.”
I’m in between and I can feel it.
I’m like that guy who’s read one too many books on sleight of hand and stage magic that can see the trick happening on stage and know how it’s done, even if he can’t quite manage the trick himself. I’m not the man behind the curtain, but I can see his shoes poking out from back stage. I can see the gears that drive the smoke and mirrors of my life.
Neither “here” nor “there”, wherever those two mythical places may be. And, as always when I feel dislodged this way, adrift between destinations, every movie on cable features a prominent character smoking. Closing his eyes and drawing in the grey, cloudy poison that cuts the edge and smooths the rough spots and fills the time while we wait. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for anymore, just perched, ready for flight. Ready to go where the wind takes me, just as soon as the still, thick Houston air stirs with any kind of a breeze that might ruffle my feathers and give me the urge to leap.
Change is all around me.
I have a friend who’s announced that he’s planning on getting married. He and I are the same age, give or take two months. He’s never been married before, and I’m trying so hard to embrace his hope and innocent vigor. I don’t want to taint his wonderful news and hopeful energy with my dark cynicism and poor choices when it comes to marriage. He’s picked a wonderful girl, who suits him so well, and I’m sure, so sure, that they’ll make it. They’ll be the other fifty percent. The half that don’t end up with hard words and court dates and cold, silent stares that end in long walks with cigarettes.
They just have to make it.
I know another guy who’s on the way down and out.
I did what I could to help him, which wasn’t much. Of course, now, I wonder if I really helped at all or just prolonged the inevitable outcome of choices he made long before he met me. But, I fought to counter my darker half and tried to believe in the best of him, only to watch him slip away behind a curtain of cigarette haze and an ocean of amber. Nothing I could do, but cut the line and let him sail his own course, out to sea in the storm. And, now, I lose sight of him, while I stay in safer waters, my surface calm like a sheltered marina harbor. Nothing more I could do, so I go below deck and try not to think about the glowing tip of the cigarette and what it all means.
No, I don’t know what any of it means, except that I can see the changes starting to happen. Something new is coming. Something I haven’t seen before. Something I cannot know because I have never known it. New territory, freshly discovered and entirely unexplored.
With no native guides, how will I chart my way?