My Empire of Dirt

My friend returns from overseas this week (I miss the conversations, and had a really strange dream involving her last night, which I think was my mind somehow trying to replicate the conversations) and will soon be picking up her cat.  I also talked to an old co-worker whom I became closer to out of tragedy.  She told me she may be coming up here later this year, and that made me extremely happy.  At the same time, this morning found me listening to Nine Inch Nails as I tried to drag my ass out of bed.  "Hurt."  I liked the song before.  Today I understood it.

Maybe it was the dream.  Maybe it was the phone call while I was in Target.  Maybe it was all the thinking I did last night, forcing myself to get real honest with myself.  Honest to the point of brutality.  Honest to the point of fear. 

Everyone is leaving.  Dropping away like flies.  I find it harder and harder to have conversations with people about anything other than cursory observations that could be from the back of a cereal box.  Granted, there are exceptions (aforementioned co-worker, Samurai, Mirror, Liz Lemon, Dark One and a few others whose nicknames can't be uttered in polite company), and they are great exceptions, but most of them are making their exits.  There will be no more knowing glances across the table.  No more moments of sanity in the insanity tornado. 

I understand that.  I respect that.  I fear it.  I hold no illusions.  I know where all this eventually leads to.  Seul contre tous.  I've carved my future into my flesh.  I wrote sentences for things that have yet to happen.  I have reacted to a catalyst that has yet to be put in motion.  I don't pretend that it made me wiser, but I know that it made me cautious.

... and the rain kept coming down.  It was warm.  We sat in an alcove at a table.  There was wine.  We were drenched.  We didn't care.  "What does all this mean?" I asked.  The reply came quietly.  Barely a whisper.  Just a few words.  I finished my glass of wine.  Stood up to leave.  "You coming?  Our work here is done."  The rain wouldn't let up.     She finishes her glass of wine.  Uses a napkin to dab at her face almost as if she's afraid of it.  We had been talking for a while.  I give her my hand, help pull her to her feet.  "We'll figure all this out."  The streets give off a dazzling display of light from the neon coming off Tokyo's buildings -- the neon reflected in the rain.  The walk is without conversation for a few blocks.  When it comes, it's in bursts.  Short statics on a radio that keeps going out of tune.  Lots of explanations.  Answers I don't want to hear.  And the rain kept coming down ...

Seul contre tous.

What if I'm wrong?

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