What happened to Mister Gregarious?
You were ready to rejoin society. You made arrangements to move from New York closer to a friend in the south. But then covid came along and you were locked down like everybody else and the moving company cancelled on you and you were stuck in that death house as before but this time in a deepening depression.
Gradually in your isolation you went mad. Not stark raving mad like a dangerous lunatic, just quietly and harmlessly mad like an imbued soul. Someone who is not of this world anymore, living in a netherworld, far away in your mind.
After the move was cancelled the deathbed scene returned to play over and over in your brain — Intensive Care, holding her hand, still warm in yours — until it wasn’t, the life support machine beeping — until it wasn’t. She was all you had after losing your family. You could not deal with that final loss. You wanted no one else. A dead soulmate is not like a dead cat. She cannot be replaced. Loneliness stretched out before you like a road you could not travel and you slipped further into isolation.
Lonely man in liquor store
It’s a strange place to be for a once gregarious raconteur. Now you see no one and talk to no one, except the guy in the liquor store and the clerks at the convenience store. All communication has stopped between you and the scattered remnants of your extended family. A couple of them used to call but they got sick of hearing about your dead wife.
You used to travel all over the world, alone, and with your wife. Now you walk through the woods looking for her. You don’t expect to meet her in any physical sense. You’re not expecting a reunion. All you hope for is some kind of communion. In the mind of your new madness you are searching for her spirit, her essence, her energy.
You are a pilgrim in a phantasy. You say hello to Alice. In this new world, electrical essence flows in reverse. Reality becomes unreality. The impossible becomes possible. Hopelessness becomes hope. Death becomes life.