Having put away old jobs and odd careers, much like Paul put away his childish things, it becomes easier not to answer the ringing telephone or the buzzing doorbell. Easier to avoid events where one will be exposed to others who neither know, nor care to discover, things about you.
Not difficult, at all. Effortless. Like easing back into warm bathwater.
One strives to leave a mark when one is strong and vital. One fails. And fails again. And yet again. But has achievements, too. Those now-and-then accomplishments that serve as names to mark you. Names, like bygone olive wreaths, you wear as though they had some meaning and they mattered.
They don’t. Or sometimes—on some rare occasions—now and then, they might, to someone. For a time. A short time. Until those few who hold some partial strands of recollections of who you might have been discard them before they can have passed them on to others.
And the undertaker burns the threads.
I wonder, can one ever love enough to assure one’s being loved in turn? The one does not guarantee the other. Love is not a cause and effect, an equation complete for all time.
No. One never loves enough. Can never. Must always fail.
Until one day one finds that one has gone away—some other where, not having lived and not yet dead; and the space where one once stood is filled again as though one never was.
Then sleep. Then sleep.
I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth...this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
—Hamlet, II, 2