Fading voices, smiles, and faces that have haunted over the years. The voices that echoed throughout the apartment during birthday parties and potluck dinners have disappeared, a casualty of time immortal.
Where have they gone?
The smiles that greeted at work or play have vanished as if by magic.
The mind plays tricks while walking down a busy Manhattan street or squeezing into a crowded subway car. Once familiar faces blend into a jigsaw puzzle of commuters.
The lines between coworkers and friendship were blurred, and soon thereafter socializing and sharing dreams felt natural.
E-mail and voicemail replaced personal contact, and eventually those placeholders ceased.
Where have they gone? Where are those who said they understood and shared my beliefs? I'm left to wonder if I said or did something offensive. I wonder if I didn't return her call soon enough, after she and her boyfriend fought. Or if I should've made an exception and trekked out to edge of Brooklyn more often to attend his dinner parties.
People come and go through the revolving doors of my life. Some people I'd hope would stay, while others won't go away.
How I wish life wasn't like a country song. Everyone has a tale to tell, and a warning to spread. Today is oftentimes better than yesterday and tomorrow.
Broken promises resonate as I flip through old photographs or try to find humor in a sitcom as laugh tracks pour through the stereo speakers. The photos can cut quicker and deeper than a Japanese sword if I stare too long. Poking fun at bad actors and actresses isn't the same without a trusted friend nearby.
Where have they gone? Perhaps those once thought of as friends have taken their leave of me and are now hanging out with Godot.
Perhaps southern hospitality and or naiveté are no longer appealing to the strays and orphans who once populated my life.
Searching in the darkness for the remote control to stop those sad country songs on the carousel CD player.
Time to shave the beard, wash my face, and remove the chains that jingle and jangle behind me as I haunt my past imperfect life.
There's no definitive answer to where they've gone. They've scattered to the four winds off Montauk Point, They've gotten married, had children, divorced, and returned to school.
Regardless of where they've gone, it's time to etch out a new path and reinvent myself, again.