From the archives: After the thing


I have finished the thing. People come up to me to say things. It seems to have gone well.

While I was in the thing it was like a dream, with laughter and pauses, some of them even in the right places. A dream, with me in it, looking in.

But now it is finished, over. The thing has finished with me.

The days I spent preparing for it, gone. The loving splicing of commas, gone. The rehearsals in the mirror, gone.

The thing has passed through me. I wonder if I was even there while it happened. (It seems to have gone well).

I am now someone else.

Somewhere else. A platform, looking at numbers. Surrounded by others, raising glasses. Silence. I am not sure I can remember my name.

A quick calculation: the hours it will take to go home. What to do in the meantime, now it is over, now I have used myself, now I am no longer of use.

Now I am no longer here.

The me at the thing, I like him (liked him). Maybe. He seemed to know what he was doing. He looked so confident, albeit briefly.

But now I have to return. I see him approaching, holding out his hand. There is no getting away.

Someone has left a newspaper next to me. Scrutiny of television pages. Perfect interiors. A view, with cows.

Wine does not help. There is no internet. The pages of a notebook, accusing (it seems a long time ago).

I have no idea what I meant.

I wonder if it happened at all.

There is. Just me.

I don’t like it.

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