Are you supposed to feel it coming?
As I go through the things that I have collected over the years, the memories and events start flooding back into my mind. The meanings are still there, the good times, and the friends that have shared this journey warm my heart. The materialistic pieces that I have carried along the way from home to home, room to room, and decade to decade, no longer have a space to reside though. I was a caretaker of sorts, the last one left of a rag tag group of kids, of family, blood or not. I kept the memories, the yearbooks, the mementos, the physical pieces, and the magic that we had in our lives… alive. I kept the bits and pieces of forgotten family history, my fathers clothes, and my sisters electronic keyboard. I kept the shoe last from my Grandfathers farm because it fascinated me, and memories of the cows that “trapped me in the barn” at my Uncle Bud’s place.
As the years went on I picked up a few interests of my other friends, the electronics and Ham radio centric pieces, arts and craft materials, lapidary tools, woodworking, and books on almost every subject imaginable. It almost seems fitting that there is nobody to share it with, no steward of time to pass it along to. Like so much of the past it just disappears and floats away to become shelf fodder at the local thrift store. If the items on those shelves could speak, the stories would fill volumes of books and limitless movies. But that’s the way it happens, and here is the perfect example of what happens, where it goes. It doesn’t feel like that history I have enjoyed is too appealing to the future generations to peer through though. It seems almost a painful exercise in frustration for them as they often contextualize the past with today’s mores and abilities.
It isn’t like we did something immense, or have a singular event that would be noted forever in the tome’s of history. But to us we did, we braved the battles of overcoming fears, bonded by everything from joyous celebration to the bruising and bloody fights. There were our Everest’s, our Bunker Hill’s, our Waterloo’s, and our perfect ten’s. Those stories ring hollow now, just a fading set of memories that have seen their way through the miles of life. Somewhere along the way the friends died off, the magic was reduced to jarring realities, and overreaching expectations. The few that were left simply not present, not talking, either drug addled or classed out. So when the trip of a lifetime comes to its last stations, the bits and pieces have nowhere to go.
It works the same for people too. Without any connections to others, the spirit dies, the purpose is lost, and that internal feeling of value reaches a sum negative. As far as the species go I lived the life of a sensitive person who always had to toughen up, thicken the skin, learn some lesson. I mostly missed out on all the other signals, social and otherwise because I was too busy noticing something else. The things I have noticed most recently though is troubling and at the same time remotely comforting. Throughout my life I have always had a certain precognizance. It’s an ability to not necessarilly see into the future in my case, but more of an ability to feel certain upcoming events. Over the years I have had a few instances of the feely’s that spooked those that I told. The most recent one was about six months before the pandemic I told a friend, my wife, and my brother that something big was coming up. It wasn’t a war, but it involved everyone and it wasn’t good. When the pandemic hit, and the lockdowns started happening I told them all that this was the feeling I had all those months ago. My wife and brother weren’t very surprised, but I could tell that my friend was a bit spooked about it.
This time around though it is hitting a lot closer to home and I don’t know how to take it all. For the last four months or so it has caused some really intense anxiety episodes. What it is is a darkness, I can’t “feel” anything past the end of August… I also don’t know if it concerns just me, or everyone? I have come to some sort of acceptance that I won’t be here somehow? I know that anyone can go at any time, and this may be my turn, but I don’t know how to take it past that? It could also be some sort of construct stuck deep within my thoughts? But it’s very hard to shake gut feelings when they have been so poignant in the past. The hardest part about it is within those bouts of anxiety, where I have a certainty that I won’t see this person or that person ever again. That I won’t get the chance to thank them for being a part of my life, for teaching me something, for being a friend to someone so hard to be friends with. There aren’t any of them around anymore, my wife understands this, this is not about her. It does take a toll on her though, so I try not to talk about this subject.
I have lived a blessed life, and have tried to live a good one. I don’t know if my time on this Earth is in short supply, or if this is some sort of mental illness manifesting. It does scare me, and like I said it is also strangely comforting. I have been a burden to many my whole life, and my purpose has run it’s course. So it does seem appropriate that this life is ready to join the thrift store shelves, the tomes of untold stories, and the places that only had a home along the memory miles.