No direction home (And a Stormtrooper will show him the way...)

"The occupational hazard of making a spectacle of yourself, over the long haul, is that at some point you buy a ticket too."
Thomas McGuane, Panama, 1978.

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Dear L-X-X,
What can I say?
It´s been close to two years since we last saw each other.
You grew up, got married. I never did.
Sometimes I wonder what you´d think if you could see me now.

I´m pressing the small of my back against the cold hard plastic of the subway car seat, slouching, almost purring like a big black bald cat, seeing my reflection on the porthole-like small windows as I count down the subway stations toward home. I wish it could go on forever.
I go for the time and it´s near ten p.m. on a chilly Sunday night. I see myself in the glass and I look pale with dark spots running deep beneath my eyes. My throat is sore, hence the purring.
I´m wearing a black sweatshirt zipped halfway up my torso with the hood pulled back, over a white ten year old t-shirt, sole memento of a two-day trip to Dallas, TX near ten years ago. My legs are bent on a 45-degree angle with the black sneakers at their end (now somewhat either muddy or dusty, depending on your POV) resting leaning on the seat opposite to me, sideways. I take a glimpse at the tattoo on the inside of my right calf, caress it but gently, then let it go.
The purring then becomes coughing from a bad cold, then reverts back to purring, and finally settles on humming a familiar song: I start whispering Rescue by Echo & the Bunnymen to no one then lose myself in thinking.

I look at the clock on my cell phone once over, pinch the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger and bite my lower lip just slightly.

If I could stop things and start them anew I would have done it way before it came to this, because I can´t really see the point now.

I wake up in bed with a dry mouth and a headache the size of Mount Kilimanjaro on a Friday night, near eleven p.m., and the last thing I can remember for a split second or two is there sometime between the late hours of the night before and wee, wee hours of that same Friday´s morning: I start going over the events racing over through my half-clouded mind and I´m yelling at someone from inside the bathroom stall at this fancy nightclub, telling either him or her that I don´t really see the point in having to lock the door as I pee since this is one of those places where boys and girls share the same bathroom. “I mean avant-garde for avant-garde,” I´m saying, “You guys´re actually only doing this to save money on having to clean up one bathroom instead of two.”

I do make it to the office on time, though, only to find out I can´t really hold down not even water. Not even freaking tangerine Gatorade, for chrissakes. My head starts spinning at what seems like 186,282 mps and I begin throwing up like there´s no tomorrow, skip lunch then hop on a cab home there about 3 p.m.

I take off my shoes, then pants, then shirt, and crumble down over the bedspread with the walls around me still spinning madly. Desperation peaks as I realize, whatever I´ve been doing for these last two or three weeks, almost non-stop, this time I´ve really screwed up and I´m all alone and completely accountable for everything. I think of making it to the phone by the bed but not only I don´t have the strength to pick it up, I also have nobody to call.
Despite my being scared witless, though, I still manage to keep up an iota of the usual panache and start half-singing, half-moaning, If I said I'd lost my way / Would you sympathize? / Could you sympathize? / I'm jumbled up / Maybe I'm losing my touch / But you know I didn't have it anyway, but just barely.

I sleep soundly for the remainder of that Friday afternoon then wake up late that night to find myself dehydrated and sore all over.

Last Wednesday, well it was a local holiday see, and I kid you not: I was walking down the street near my place as the sun set down, haunting the neighborhood by myself as usual, maybe seeking company but more likely looking for trouble, and this old lady comes up to me and says I seem such a nice kid, and that she´d been playing cards at a friend´s then lost track of the time, and now it´s so dark for an old lady to be walking home by herself, couldn´t I walk her home?
“Yeah sure” I say. But the best part really is once we start talking and turns out she´d lived in my hometown ages ago, knew my grandfather, and what do you know, I can still throw around the family name a bit, even if like this, even after all this time.
Then she gets home and she asks me whether I work, she actually wants to give me money but it gets really awkward and I refuse it by saying, “Jesus Christ, Whoa!, ma´am.” She tells me what good kid I am anyhow and we say goodbye.

Of course she never sees me afterward, at my place much later, after dark, with the Haagen-Dazs and the Stolichnaya in my hands.

The night before, Tuesday, it was the end of the semester at the MBA course and I was taking the test with this girl. She asked me whether I´d studied or what, or even remembered to bring along my HP-12C financial calculator.
“Do I even own one of those?”, I asked her with a cocky half-smile, very nonchalant and all.

“Why do you say those things,” she asked. “Why do you insist on behaving like that, as if you didn´t care for anything in the world?

“Because I´m so cool it never really gets as bad as it looks, honey” I say, more self-confident than god, just like some comicbook superhero from ages ago.

So I´m riding the subway on a Sunday night, okay?, counting the stops until I reach home and all that, and I´m thinking of all the days before.
I start thinking of the day before, Saturday morning, I was at the park and it really made all the difference to me:

They´ve had this Star Wars expo thing up and running for the last three or four months, with like props they used for the movies and stuff, and I´d been skipping it for as long as I can remember: Not for a specific reason though, at least not really other than simply not caring enough.

So I´m passing by the Star Wars pavilion and this guy dressed up as a Stormtrooper comes up to me and starts doing this really annoying silent mime act with his blaster gun, it´s like he´s saying “c´mon man, I can´t believe you´re passing us by”.
I say nothing, shrug, actually do pass him by then whisper to myself “Asshole in a costume”.

...And then it hits me.

Get it?
Did I really say that? Asshole in a costume?
And really meant it?

I mean how much can you change over time?
What do you do when you realize how far you´ve gone, and not necessarily in the brighter direction?
Does turning back and attending the show even count?

So I´m riding the subway late at night and my reflection seems like that of a pale ghost against the window: If I could stop things and start them anew I would have done it way before it came to this, but I really can´t see the point now.

But hey, what can I say?
It´s been close to two years since we last saw each other.
You grew up, got married. I never did.

Sometimes I wonder what you´d think if you could see me now.