I knew I was done living when the adrenaline expired.
But that was when I defined living as drinking, moving, and dancing in my mind while first class flew silently above with hot towels, oblivious to my alleys of real or feigned despair. With a haze so thick about my soul that all but the most necessary ties to reality had been severed.
It is different now.
I suppose that some part of my mind still idolizes those days. Everything was numb, except the foundation of my conscience that was never quite eradicated. Though I was never evil, I was never quite good, as it’s normally understood.
Having lost hope for happiness, I substituted pleasure, and ceased to believe that it should be otherwise. As a product of something nearing dementia, partially self-imposed, I created a new personality for public viewing which was surprisingly similar to the person I believed myself to be.
Underneath, nothing had really changed. Inside, I was still me. While others sat outside, watching the alleged changes, I was riding the same track through life I’d always been on. A track slightly aside from the main line, a path that many had followed without making it crowded.
Realistically speaking, very little was “good” about those days, but introspectively speaking, they were some of the best things to ever happen to me. I could say I learned of life’s mysteries or abandoned misconceptions, but in reality I only reinforced what I already knew instinctively.
I had already known that I would push through life stubbornly, following the mistakes to their natural conclusions, stopping just shy of absolute failure. I already knew that in the midst of despair, I would still do the right thing occasionally by accident. I had long been aware that life’s little accidents are just as often worthwhile as they are destructive.
And I always believed in Destiny, that the final destination was laid out, unavoidable, whether desired or not.
In the meantime, as I fooled myself and — by default — misled others, patterns of my life were formed.
And then, in a brilliant turnabout that’s still just a little mysterious to me, I left all of it behind, searching for something a little more formidable. When I sought death, it avoided me. When I found pleasure, it was pleasurable, but turned out to be not quite what I was searching for after all. When I wrote, the words tumbled out, making even less sense to me than to others, and defying critique or understanding.
Others have hypothesized about the “change.” What was the impetus that caused me to change? Even farther back, some have asked what was the root cause behind the mess in the first place?
Two major departures from the course of my life, so to speak, leaving me on a road that seems somewhat parallel to the original, have occurred, and yet both defy explanation, or even description.
But only one change actually remains. The old me would have questioned it all until I thought I had the answer. The new me is willing to leave it alone.
As things sit today, I’m not concerned so much with how I got here as I am with being here. The so-called fun of yesteryear is paltry compared to my current fulfillment. The zig-zags of my past lives can remain mysterious, and fall into the dregs of lore along with all my other stories.
It’s been a strange trip, undeniably, and the stories are worth retelling, purely for story-telling value, but I now consider it a waste to dwell on the reasons, the underlying causes of what has happened.
For now, it suffices for me to know that I have found fulfillment, although it was once again by accident. Whether luck, fortune, fate, destiny or deity led me here, the unchangeable fact is that I am here. I am happy.
I found what I was looking for, though I’d long quit searching. And I found who I needed, without realizing my lack. For perhaps the first time in a long series of escapades, I feel the pieces of it all fitting together.