I lost a big bit of me a long while back. Way way back. Like a train losing all of its carriages except for one, and you never know it until a lot later on. I’m aware of that loss now though – however temporarily. How big of a loss this is, I don’t know. What exactly this loss means, I don’t know either. Obviously it’s important, but the dry information alone doesn’t mean much to me. It doesn’t actually seem to bother me that much, strangely enough. I don’t lose any sleep over it. For the most part, I think I’m safe in saying that it doesn’t bother me at all. It doesn’t bother me at all because I simply don’t know about it. I have no memory of the loss, no way of relating to it.
I do remember from time to time however and then things get weird. It’s kind of strange alright when awareness of the loss does come back. It spooks me. This awareness, as I have already indicated, doesn’t last very long and that’s the good side of it. I know it doesn’t sound right to say this, but that’s just how it seems to work – I forget all about it and then everything’s fine again…
Forgetfulness comes very easily, I suppose that’s what I’m saying here. It’s not that I forget the part of me that isn’t there anymore – that’s long gone. That’s done and dusted. What I keep forgetting is the purely intellectual knowledge that there is another part of me, a part without which nothing really makes any sense. That knowledge – I could say – has no place in my life. It doesn’t fit, it doesn’t belong. It has no place in my life, such as it is lived. Such as I live it, I suppose I should say, although I am consciously shying away from putting it like this since I don’t really know who that ‘I’ is. That ‘I’ is gone and what has taken its place I cannot say. Something else, I guess. Some other kind of thing. Who knows? So that’s kind of odd, isn’t it?
Is this a normal kind of a question, I wonder? Is it normal to ask who is living your life for you? Clearly it isn’t. You can’t say that to your friends, your family, the guy on the street. You can’t say it to anyone. No one is going to tell you that this is normal. No one is going to ask themselves this question. Who is it that’s asking the question anyway – that’s precisely my point? There’s nobody there to ask it and that’s why nobody ever does. It’s all done and dusted. There are times, however, when I do ask myself this question and I find that very unsettling.
I find it very disturbing to have to wonder who it is that is living my life for me. Or who it was that was living my life, until only a few days ago. Quite happily too, so I believe. And the answer very clearly is that it isn’t anybody. There’s no one there – just a train-load of habits passing by in the night. A kind of a ghostly train, I guess you could say. Passing through a country station late at night without stopping, without slowing down. A haunting apparition. The horn sounding mournfully as it passes. An unmanned illusion-train. On its way to nowhere with all its ghostly passengers…
There’s no one there but it feels that there is. That’s the queer thing about it – it really does feel like there’s somebody there. A real person, so to speak. Not the ghostly driver of a ghost-train. It totally feels like there is so why would you question it? You obviously never would. Not ever. And yet every now and again when something jolts me into temporary awareness I know that there isn’t. I’m not there, so who else would be? Who the hell is it that’s running the show? Whose hand is on the tiller? Who’s driving that damn train?