Head in the sand

You stuck your head in the sand so no one would see you. Isn’t that what a friend once told you? One of those people who’d managed to make a smooth transition from his childhood to his adulthood and thus had made them both his own. Who laughed at stupid jokes, enjoyed the company of anyone, who seemed to float right through his life. The kind of person who could sleep anywhere. And he was right, wasn’t he, you were hiding your head in the sand, you saw it almost as clearly as him. Almost. Was that what they meant by lack of perspective, this almost?

Everything was already in place for the future, or rather out of place. Always almost out of touch, almost out of reach. Tired of being tired. Bored of being bored. Afraid of being afraid. Every accurate statement about yourself by definition kitschy, therefore by definition suspect. That was your future, wasn’t it, stretching out ahead of you…

You hated me, didn’t you? I was your future, I was what stretched out before you in silent meaningless judgement. And now? Now that the future is here, now that these words have finally come, which were out of reach then?

You knew they’d come, didn’t you? How much did you know? But that’s a pointless question, isn’t it? You already knew everything and nothing. You were your future, the future that was already gazing at you from afar. And me? Am I not your future come into its own, made slightly less alien, slightly more controllable, as you knew it would, eventually? You were old then, older than you should have been.

Some people stunt their lives by pre-empting them. I’d been born, there was no getting rid of me. To what degree were you complicit in my birth, didn’t you think it was your fault? Didn’t you think there was something fundamentally wrong with you? There was, of course, and you knew it. Why else would you hide, why else be afraid of everyone, afraid of every echo down that hall? The terror of knocks on the door, as if you were some subversive in a police state, how ridiculous! With me watching you every minute of every day. Ridiculous!

I passed judgement on you. Was that my function? I reached out to you, this disgusted you, just as you disgusted yourself. Your nerves were raw, no wonder you drank, no wonder you took everything you could get your hands on.

It soon started, didn’t it, the advice? How could it not? Everyone has something to say, everyone knows how to live. You almost preferred me, didn’t you, to all that advice that you forced yourself to take seriously yet couldn’t act on? From friends, teachers, strangers… Years were wasted like this, years are still wasted like this. Listening to you, you say. I only want to help, I say.

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