Slice 3

Sometimes, I think especially this past year with the Covid about, we are a bit empathetically off at times. I wrote that first sentence with a sense of what I am aiming for in this slice, to capture a feeling, an awareness – but I have no clue even now in sentence two how to put it into words. 

Don’t get me wrong, with so many struggling so much, our empathy tanks are expanding and filling. I am not trying to say people are becoming ignorant of others. I’ve never done, or been a receptacle for, more venting. We are here for each other. At least in my world. And I guess at this point I’m realizing I very well might not be making a universal statement here and could just be referencing an isolated phenomenon of my own creation or conjuring. 

I just think maybe because of all that, or in addition to all of that (and maybe it’s just me), I find myself…drifting. Details I’d normally catch slip past. Not during important times. Usually. Maybe it’s the lack of solitary down time? My subconscious is stealing me? Powering down on its own like an out of date iPhone ready to be upgraded? 

What I am trying to explain is like when you drive from one end of a town to the other, over miles and turns and decisions, and eventually you realize you remember none of the actual driving minutia between two points in the trip and the distance between those points gives you an iffy feeling about yourself and all the good luck reserves you may have just slurped up for no reason.

It’s nodding your head instinctively in response to the sound of someone ending their part of a conversation and expecting you to continue it. After a second or two you snap back and realize you’re being rude and bite the bullet and ask them to repeat. But that drift? Because of why? From how?

It’s like when you know you should’ve stopped whatever you’re doing and went to bed like 8 hours ago and suddenly nothing around you works properly? Like, your surroundings have taken on your corroded functionality and you don’t know if the tv remote button really won’t work? Or if the wifi is actually wavering because you are, too? Is it just that your brain is fogged up and causing imaginary hiccups? Could it be that your exhausted drifting is melding with the technology? Or is stuff really just coincidentally glitchy, like you?

I haven’t had Covid (that I know of) so it isn’t Covid fog. 

I’m used to being tired too. At least since I’ve been a dad (my eldest is going to college next year so it’s been a while). It’s fine, just something I have noticed. But it makes me feel bad sometimes. 

I feel bad not being uber present for my kids and my work kids and friends and friend-family in these moments. I can sometimes see the look, a cocktail of surprise and disappointment, neon quickly over someone’s face when I am caught returning from my quizzical revelry. Like coming home early to someone you hired working on something you were sure they’d be anal about only to find they’re just plugging holes with their thumbs waiting to see how it turns out. Like a much less colorful man behind the curtain after Toto tugs away the visage hiding the truth. 

All those dumb, swirling words to prove I can’t really explain what made me slice today. Maybe it’ll come to me later…

4 thoughts on “Drift

  1. A bit…”empathetically off.” YES. That is one way to put it, for sure. I’m seeing that with my friends, with my colleagues, and (I confess) in the mirror. And I’m finding it in odd places, like not being able to say how I’m doing when people ask. Or…trying to find the right words for a comment on a beautiful slice…? Sigh. Yep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One hundred percent relatable. I’ve wondered if it’s a mid-life crisis. Is it just me? Is it time to retire? Is it from parenting a teen? But I think it is a complicated cocktail of lots and lots of things that are really hard to explain. Like you said. Thank you for this post.


  3. You are right, empathy has become lost over the last year. More selfish people in the world or are we just all in over our heads in today’s world? Hmmm.


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