Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.― Jorge Luis Borges
It is difficult to define it this state you're in, this disheartening something, granted, it is most difficult, almost impossible, but then again just try describing it, just draw an outline. Let's see, at times you are yourself―whoever that might be―, but most of the time you become your father and break up into tears for no apparent reason, you become your mother and drink non-stop throughout the day from a glass you hide behind the dishes on the kitchen counter, you become your lover and curse yourself in the mirror for all the things you do wrong; you become―in random alternations―a whole set of characters all pointing a finger at you: a teacher, a priest, a policeman, a bully, a best friend. But, when you revert back to being yourself―whoever that might be―you scream at your father in the mirror for having never lived up to life, at your mother for immersing her caresses in alcohol, at your lover for expecting your love to be unflawed. It is then, after screaming your lungs out, that you leave the seclusion of your flat to immerse―mother would love this verb, so would your lover, but your father would be dead-terrified by it―in the seclusion of the odd crowd. You take the bus to town, plug in your earphones and listen to Janacek's sonatas―though you never really liked his music―, walk along the High street at a steady pace, rubbing shoulders with complete strangers, smelling what they smell, feeling cold if it's winter or hot if it's summer like they do, looking over your right shoulder before crossing the street, holding a paper-cup with tea, being a tourist in the land of human contact, a complete stranger amongst complete strangers, some of which will be teachers and priests and policemen and bullies and potential best friends, but none of which will be your father wiping his tears with his checkered handkerchief, or your mother fighting her hangover as she's putting you to bed, or your lover kissing you like there's no tomorrow in a bar and then slapping you across the face for not stopping her from doing so, and then going at it again and again, until there was really no tomorrow and you were to blame for that. Still you keep wandering, you keep listening to Janacek's sonatas, you keep rubbing shoulders with passers-by, you keep holding that cup of tea without taking a sip, you keep trying to make out from the crowd the teacher, the priest, the policeman, the bully, the potential best friend―to follow or avoid them, G*d knows.
Eventually you get tired of wandering around, of being yourself, of being anyone but yourself; you come to a halt in the middle of a swarm of people, the High street buzzing with what sounds to you as the high pitch of solitude, you come to a halt and feel your right shoulder where you've inked your lover's name, you feel the skin above your left brow a broken wineglass scared at the age of thirteen, you feel the cheeks your father put his hands to say goodnight and farewell―weeping as always―, you feel the inherited faint heartbeat in your chest and, before long, you become your father's father and send him to his room to cry himself to sleep, you become your mother's mother and ask her to share whatever wine's left, you become your lover's lover and push her against the wall and slap her across the face and kiss her and say your love is flawed but it's all you have and it's all hers, you become yourself and fight your urge to visit your father's grave, to call your mother on the phone, to get on the first flight and meet your lover, you fight your urges because more than two thousand miles stand between you and your father's grave, because you cannot stand your mother's drunken voice anymore, because your lover's probably never going to answer the damn door, and―point is―you would give anything to be able to sit on your father's gravestone and chat about tears and goodnights and farewells, to be able to call your mother and listen to her pronounce your name right, to be able to see your lover open the door and kiss you clumsily on the mouth, but there you are then, you're not your father or your father's father, nor your mother or your mother's mother, nor your lover or your lover's lover, nor of course are you a priest, a policeman, a bully, or anyone's best friend, all you do is sit on a random gravestone in a random cemetery and address your words to whoever, you keep repeating your mother's number to yourself as some sort of spell until you actually forget it altogether, you never stop booking tickets online to visit your lover only to cancel them with a heartache. That's life for you, a whole lot of daydreaming, a whole lot of idleness, a whole lot of waiting for things you know will not come, a whole lot of convincing yourself to be no one but yourself, and hardly anything more. Meanwhile an old lady that squeezed past turned to you to say:
"Have to keep moving, child. All moves forward you know."
"I want to be all the things I'm not."
"Good luck then", she said tapping you on the right shoulder.
Truth is you did not hear a word the old lady said, you had become yourself's self, talking out loud amidst such silence you had to keep reminding yourself you weren't deaf or dead.