Everything Changed When I Disappeared

When I do things, or imagine things, or just daydream, I disappear—figuratively speaking. It’s a phenomenon. I don’t quite know how it happened but it’s like I live in a different plane from other people. Or that I don’t really live at all. I’m not a noun anymore. I’m a verb. I am what I do. Except there is only the doing, no “I.”

It wasn’t always this way. I had hopes and dreams and loves and fears and thrills and sadness. I was blown about by the winds of experience. What happened mattered, because it happened to me.

When I was young, I had loving parents and companionable siblings. Materially I had all I needed and I appreciated all I had. I played, read, explored, learned. Life was a joy for awhile.

But a sister died, followed by my parents. A romance went bad. The job was a dead end grind. I found religion but it brought no relief.

So, I said to myself, “Darcy, what do you do now?”

I did what I had to do. I withdrew to my room. I did the minimum necessary to get through each day. Outwardly, I was unchanged but in fact my entire life was on hold. I was waiting, but I didn’t know what I expected. Perhaps I expected nothing.

Days, months and years passed. Little changed. I got older.

This morning I awoke in my bed. It was a Saturday. It was late, after 11am. I squinted. I felt different. It was like I had been sleeping or perhaps meditating for years and was finally refreshed. I stretched, got out of bed, made some coffee.

There was a thumbprint on my coffee cup, my own thumbprint. I smelled coffee, but also a subtle swirl of other smells. I found that I could identify each. I looked out the window as I sipped, daydreaming with my eyes fixed on a tree. Then I zeroed in on a single leaf. I saw, or imagined I saw it in detail, the veins, the colors, the texture.

Wherever I turned my attention, everything seemed simple, clear, and hyper-real. I dressed myself and stepped outside for a walk. As I crossed the street, a speeding bus nearly hit me, but I paid little attention. People passed in the other direction, some smiling, some looking glum, others neutral.

I sat on a bench and assigned some words to what I was sensing and feeling. Nothing and everything had changed.

All my life I had worried. What will happen to me? My career, relationships, my soul. But that was absurd because I knew all along what would happen: I would live and then die. But instead of acknowledging this I went into a waking coma. And this morning I finally truly woke up.

So, now I’ve disappeared. People see me. I still talk to them, do things. But I don’t worry. I just do what I do. Nothing has changed but everything feels different. I can live with this.