Your life is changing in small, important ways every day. The structure is no longer holding, no longer able to stay glued together, so certain things are having to leave you when you’re asleep. They’re so quiet, so considerate when they abandon you, that I bet you don’t even notice.
They call this growing up, or something similar to it. You wake up on a Saturday morning and realize everything has become unrecognizable to you. The gauze has been lifted! When did this happen? Oh right, when you were sleeping. They came in at night and started to peel things away from you like an orange. They were careful not to cut the center, they were careful not to let any juice drip on the bedspread your mother bought for you. They wanted your life to look familiar to you, didn’t want to shock you completely, so they kept some things intact. Some things, not everything. Guess what’s gone? Wrong. Guess again.
You woke up on a Saturday and came to the sudden realization that you were all alone, that everything you had surrounded yourself with Monday through Friday, all the happy hours and all the business lunches and all those technological noises you drenched your earbuds in: it all added up to zero. You feel like a fool, don’t you? You played the game like everyone asked you to and still managed get to this place of complete and utter loneliness and alienation. Where did you go wrong? Do you need to send another text message to someone? Do you need to pay another credit card off or have another Great Night Out? What can you do to feel more connected to the things around you?
On Friday night, everyone was right next to you. There was Olivia and Taylor and Ethan and Josh and Michael and Sarah, and they were all here by your side laughing and drinking and taking pictures. No one left till the morning and you went to bed just as the sun was hitting your eyes. When you woke up, it was three p.m. and already dark out. You found out that, while you were sleeping, Josh married Olivia and they moved to the country somewhere. Sarah went to grad school and had a baby in New Hampshire. She’s gone. She wrote the last chapter of her book and she’ll never be relevant to you again. You wonder what happened to Michael. Well, let’s see. You loved Michael more than what was good for you and after sleeping with him for five years, it fell down like a game of cards. You don’t have the right to speak to him anymore. You lost it when you lost him. Say good-bye to that. Ethan is living in Portland and makes annoying Facebook updates about his life as a mountain climber and Taylor became a heroin addict. Just kidding! She writes books about organic farming.
How did this all happen when you were sleeping? How did you manage to sleep through all of these events? You were asleep and now you’re awake but it’s too late. Everyone else already went to bed and now you’re just alone and awake on a Saturday morning and that’s it. This is it. Never fall asleep again.