I’ve been having a funny relationship with forgetting these days; the sensation of being on the cusp of suddenly seeing a past self as an Other instead of Me. Which, I guess, is something that happens throughout life, although we hardly see this progress as it is usually the carving of slot canyons of the soul; long nights and days over desert outlooks.

I catch myself looking at people in my life and wondering “who did I once know you as?” and there’s a lot of trajectories that suddenly become apparent, like fireworks shot out of one of those tubes I can hold on 4th of July.

I’ve been thinking a lot of a friend I had long ago, who I fell out of touch with. Back then, word was that he had just gotten in a car and disappeared and maybe had become a chemist, or a professor, or started a company. 

Now new words have trickled in of sad posts on Facebook about being a single Dad and the heaviness of a certain type of life. Part of me heard this and hoped instead that he was trolling people in a way that he found funny. I remember long ago when I was in high school I had gotten an email from my doctor (or it appeared to be so) that they had found some unusual things in my blood work that had just been done; this had just been that friend spoofing emails, which back then was as easy as cut and pasting sentences from Wikipedia.

If the medium is the message and we are the collection of thoughts and interactions of a world around us — a medium in flux — we become messages for a period of time that we have coalesced around; a jellyfish caught on the mind’s paddle. 

I think at moments it becomes startling to realize this message and to wonder if this is really who we are.