It was wrong of me, I know, to think I could know you, any part of you that you did not reveal.
Foolish to think I could tell what you were telling, to feel any real friendship, to sense any camaraderie. Not your fault that I tried, probably not my fault, either. I’m just wired that way. A little pseudo soul-baring, and certain synapses fire. The feeling is as real as a dream. I carry it along from sleeping to waking, and it is part of me, like I know my phone number, like I know what drawer contains the knives. For a little while it is scribbled on a scrap of paper and pulled out when needed; for a little while I have to pull out all the drawers, looking for the knives. But then it is second nature, my fingers know the number, I go instinctively for the correct drawer, and the knife is in my hand.
It’s like that, but it’s not that.
We never knew each other. We never were friends. The whole thing is – not a sham, exactly. Just… not anything. Like Los Angeles, there is no there there. I can’t blame you, because in a way you weren’t in on it. It all happened inside me, flecks of matter flying through my empty universe, pieces falling into other pieces, exploding apart and coming back together again under the spell of gravity, circling each other until something began to take shape. I should have known it wasn’t real, because it never settled down, kept changing shape in a way that real things do not. Real things come into focus and let you get a good look at them, let you return to them and find them essentially unchanged.
Evolving, but the same inside.
And you said from the start it wasn’t real, that it was all imagined. I just didn’t know how much of the imagining was mine.