Maybe I should just choose a different name, get in a car and drive somewhere, and then just be that guy. Go into the nearest store and say “Hi, I’m Bob. Are there any job openings in town?” Wait, I don’t think “Bob” was one of the names generated by that app. But it sounds rather pedestrian, yet vaguely trustworthy. I could blend in somewhere as a Bob. That would be just fine.
These philosophical and existential thoughts don’t seem on par for a cliff diving, jet skiing, off-roading, adventure seeking dude. So, I must have another layer or two to me. Do I secretly go to poetry slam night at the local coffee shop? Or do I drive thirty minutes away to another one so I don’t get recognized? Maybe I have a journal I write down all of my thoughts in? Like the one they gave me to help remember.
Thing is, they told me I’m just renting a furnished apartment month-to-month. All of my stuff is in storage. If I did have such a thing as a personal journal it would probably be buried deep in some box in there. The items I do have at my place, day-to-day things such as toiletries, my laptop and some clothes, they went ahead and had brought over to Charles’ house and they’ll will be waiting there for me when I arrive.
So, I must not want to be tied down, then? Am I the kind of person always moving onto the next thing? If a good thing presented itself would I, first, know it, and second, would I embrace it and not push it away in a vain attempt to search for something supposedly better?
I have so many questions about myself. I hope Charles doesn’t try to pull any punches. If I’m an asshole, he has to tell me I’m an asshole. Not that I’ll really want to go back to normal, if that’s the case.
Charles shakes the doctor’s hand, waves goodbye to the nurse, and walks back towards me. He smiles, but it feels like one out of obligation and pity. As if that pursed action would elicit any comfort at all. But at least I know he cares. He must be a good friend. Hell, his mom put together pictures of us as kids. Someone looking to take advantage of you probably doesn’t go to such lengths to deceive. I will give him a chance and trust him.
“Ready to go?” he asks.
“I am if you are.” And I am. I want to step out into the world and see what I’ve been missing. To rediscover what I once knew so well.
We walk towards the parking lot. I can feel the bright sun on my face. It feels new, although I know I’ve been on this planet 8796 days according to this other app I used on my phone. All these apps, what was life like before we had them? I supposedly grew up in a time that was fully immersed in technology, already. But the smartphone really propelled everything forward. All these devices… I am going to have to keep relearning how to use them and also eventually get my laptop and figure out just what I do to make money.
So, when I put it out there as a number, 8796 days that it doesn’t seem like that long. But if I only count the days after I woke up, which was about 7, then it seems like an eternity that I might never recover. Was it stolen time? Is this a second chance? All these questions.
“Hmmm,” I say out loud.
“What’s that?” Charles asks.
“Oh, I was just thinking,” I muse.
“Well, that’s good!” he laughs. “Thinking is good. Very good, indeed.”
I laugh too. But I am doing it to agree, or do I really think it’s funny? Again, more questions, but relearning humor with a supposed best friend is a bit confusing as well. After a moment, I laugh a little harder.
“Wow, just wow,” I say. “You know, I have been thinking too much. I needed that.”
“I bet,” Charles says. “Look, we’ll get you sorted back at our house and then we’ll have a drink and talk, and think.”
He chuckles. From what I can tell, he seems like a good guy. And “our house”, that means he shares it with his wife Amanda. At least that was what I was told.
Charles clicks a button on his keys and a beeping noise emits from a 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT.
“What are you, a drug dealer?” I ask.
Charles laughs. “You really don’t know, do you? I’m obsessed with cars. My grandfather left me quite a bit of money in his will and I’m ashamed to say I spend too much of it on fancy cars.”
“Well, I’d think I’d remember something like this,” I say incredulously. “What a beautiful vehicle.”