09 October 2010

painted ship upon a painted ocean

I feel like the Ancient Mariner. I'm on a ship, drifting in the doldrums with no crew but the dead bodies of my compatriots, no water, no food, and no hope of salvation in sight. Water like witch's oil, slimy creatures crawling with slimy legs upon the slimy sea, and no other souls in the area. Just me and God.

When I was little, my favorite book began: "I see the moon, and the moon sees me. Does anyone know I'm alone here at sea?" The clues are all there, if one cared to look. But no one has, and I don't blame them. It's easier to mind your own business than to be caught up in what is not your concern. Everyone has a clue, but no one has cared to put them together.

Tomorrow, my friend Toothpick is getting married. A lot of her bridesmaids are my good friends, back from college, and naively, I thought things would be the same. Wrong. They've moved on to quarters and classes and roommates and floor parties and crazy professors, and I've been left behind. Granted, I did see this coming, but "I told you so" never solved anything. The same feeling of shyness and aloneness has invaded the relationships I have with the few people I trust. No, I'd never bring up confidences in the middle of Toothpick's bachelorette party, but I had hoped that I'd see something, anything, that would show that the friendship is not just withering. Wrong again.

The same feeling of aloneness, shyness, quiet resignation from my stranger-friends is also found around the people I'd previously called mates. Now I'm just confused, and I don't know exactly what to do. I've told these friends things I wouldn't have had I known they'd moved on this much. My fault, not theirs. I don't blame them. I guess the only thing to do is not trust them with more confidences. I don't know. 

"Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I."