Part 32

Things fall apart.

Or so people like to invoke when the world seems at odds with itself and all the teetering, shuffling madness that is the edge, the limits of control that daily life throws itself against between spates of boredom and getting through its normal routine.

And so it would seem that the center cannot hold, frequently, in our (my) passing plans and daily trials and pretense of knowing where any choice will lead us.

In this particular case, I want to say I floated around somewhere in the depths of subconscious, stuck in a fuzzy, warm place, oblivious to any outside stimuli, the normal rigour of time and the movement of atoms all happening outside my experience. I’d say it, if it were true.

When we were growing up, and even later in our misspent youth, my brother was always the accident-prone one in the family. Being slightly younger and/or slightly more reckless due to the fact, he broke, dislocated, and bruised way more parts than I ever have. One time as bored kids at a slo-pitch tournament, he skillfully managed to fall nosefirst onto some wooden bleachers, spewing what seemed to be all the blood in his body all over the place. It was impressive.

Maybe that’s what’s pushed me towards these more precarious outings, at least in part. Or just balancing out any extra caution and self-preservation that crops up the more time I spend at home. The self-destructive streak is not a new thing. Hand in hand with the romance of the great explorer, I suppose.

The reality here was that I didn’t notice a thing. I had a moment, maybe two, to question my (our) part in running off on a classic missing dame case, on recruiting people to head out on what had turned into a partial Heart of Darkness tour (and oh, how most of us love the existential terror that comes with the thought of that adventure, even if Conrad was so very overblown), on what exactly would come of not finding her, or the cure, or any tangible result.

At any rate, I felt that second of lapse, knew that the current plan had gone all to hell, and that despite not wanting it to, the time in this famed jungle with these unlikely and wonderful people was coming to an end.

I came around three days later.