Sorry for the disappearing act, I have just been a bit too preoccupied wallowing in self pity. Ironically enough, this dip was triggered by my inability to pull off a said disappearing act. Bear with me, I get more lucid with each typed character.
In my bid to see and seize the world, I headed off to Cornwall for a week. The holiday was amazing, but the trip itself not so much. Turns out the only fatal flaw you need is packing the wrong book to read on the train. I chose The Night Circus, a book that would have been exactly my kind of reading back when my rose colored glasses were still perched firmly on my nose, and dancing in the rain was fun, and the leprechaun sitting at the end of the rainbow not only had a pot of gold, but also a box a Laduree macaroons. Unfortunately, the leprechaun has left the building, elusive macaroons have morphed into an undeniable muffin top, and I now sit inside with curtains firmly drawn even in sunlight, let alone dancing in the rain. And it seems that means I can no longer enjoy my whimsical novels, as the magic and splendor that once embraced and inspired me, now shuns me cruelly. In the past, when I turned the pages of books, I would hear whispers, ever so faint, calling me into a magical land. I would read of extraordinary people, with extraordinary lives, and I would feel a kinship to them. I would be reassured. The yellow pages would rustle and beckon, and remind me that there were others out there who aimed for more than just earning money and then spending money. And I would smile to myself, knowing that one day I would find these people, and be counted as their equal. These books gave me my greatest moments of joy, and I gave them my biggest smiles.
On the train back from Cornwall though, something went dreadfully wrong. I opened a magical book, and read about extraordinary people leading extraordinary lives, and I thumbed through the yellow pages. But I heard no whispers. No secret handshakes were extended, no kinship announced. I was not one of them. I would never be extraordinary. There was nothing magical about my life anymore, and it seemed there never would be any longer. For the first time in my life, a book brought me to tears. And I’m not talking about a solitary tear rolling down my cheek, wiped away discreetly with the tip of my finger before anyone noticed. I am talking about heart wrenching sobs that racked through my body as I tried in vain to control them, turning towards the window so as to avoid concerned looks from the old lady opposite me who probably had enough problems of her own. I wept from Devon to Cheshire, for my lost fairy tales. My shattered rose colored glasses.
Now, the old me knew how this was supposed to end. Some old man handed me a handkerchief on the train, with uncannily insightful words of wisdom. As I wiped my eyes, and looked up to thank him, I found he had disappeared mysteriously, leaving behind only the handkerchief as proof of our encounter. And as I tucked said handkerchief into my bag, I saw an email on my phone, with a job offer.
Thing is, after an exceedingly banal year, magic isn’t quite so easy to believe in anymore. Whats even harder to believe is that God man, or whoever it is out there in charge of magic dispensation, can actually see me. And will choose me. The current version of me feels I might after all have an exceedingly average life, spent worrying about money, and where to get it, and how to save it. And things will not work out, not according to plan, maybe not at all. I’m Jack, if you will, its just that the magic beans didn’t really deliver on the promise. And so I’m Jack. Not Jack with the Beanstalk. Just Jack. I guess it’ll have to be enough.