the friend and the barrier

i am waiting for a long lost friend. jitters swimming through my body. fluttery and anxious. something rattling around inside of me trying to escape. too bad, you must stay. anxiety is part of the human experience.

it’s been three years. will he look the same. will i look the same? will we laugh the same? i hear the car door slam. shit.
i didn’t know he drove. is this the same person? is that him? oh god. hide in the closet. no, a bathroom. look at yourself in the mirror. why am i looking at myself in the mirror? why am i afraid of what people will think of me? why do i give a shit about people who give a shit about this shell i’m stuck in? fix your hair. he doesn’t care. i wish i didn’t. be cool. be cool.
as the door opens, time sends us back. forward. upside down. what day is it? cut that out, theres no room for these thoughts. instinctively, we hug. adhering to obligatory socially acceptable greetings. standard protocol.
thank god he brought alcohol. why did he bring alcohol? is he nervous too? is this a crutch? or is this just part of the human experience? numbing ourselves so we don’t have to deal with each other. i must size him up. see his insecurities. so mine feel smaller. i want them to disappear. i want to disappear.
part of me, the overwhelming majority of me, the winning side, is thankful for the alcohol. we need something to break the ice. no no, it isn’t ice that separates us. something else. something more malleable. stronger. softer. gelatinous perhaps. whatever it is. this barrier. invisible to the human eye. is keeping us from seeing our true selves. prohibits us from feeling a deep sense of comfort.
my stomach is empty. i feel light. i feel closer to god. i take a sip. i feel drunk. not drunk in a conventional sense. not a drunk I’ve drank before. it feels like home.
i start to dance. forgetting when i started dancing. forgetting where i am dancing. i’m probably in the street. its ok. cars don’t come by often. not that a car would stop me. or even notice me. i am feeling the air. entering my body through my pores. i am consuming it. the air becomes part of me. i am part of the air. i am light.
i remember why i’m dancing. i’m dancing because i have no real interest in exchanging words with this old friend. we are beyond words. together, we know.
i continue to dance. feeling lighter and lighter. i am smiling. it’s working. no time to question what it is. no interest in knowing what it is. but it is working. whatever it is. I’m going with it.
i am so light. i jump and feel the barrier disintegrating slowly. my friend watches from a distance. looking at me like a proud parent. watching their offspring take its first steps. or a bird. watching their baby fall but not hit the ground.
he is pleased. the potion he gave me is doing its job.
as the barrier is disappearing, so am i. lets see how far i can push this. the pavement gets further from me feet. i am kicking and moving my arms. using my limbs for flight. swimming in the air. swimming away from my house. i see the rooftop. my friend looks small. i am at a comfortable height. i do not want to go any further. i take this experience in. breathe. let it enter my mind. i can’t forget this. once i’ve had enough, something switches in the control system of my being.
i decide i want to come back down. knowing i will confuse my friend. knowing what is waiting for me on earth. pain. part of the human experience. i let myself fall. gravity takes my breath away. i brace for the impact. thud.
my friend is puzzled. you were doing great, what happened? why did you come back?
unfinished business.

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