Well, he just had to face up to the facts; he had lost himself.
He tried to remember where he had last seen himself, but this was proving to be extremely difficult.
There was of course that stag do, almost a decade ago. One of a succession, which seemed to take place over a very short period of time.
Strange, but now he came to think about it, it was entirely possible that they had all been gripped by a strangely virulent virus, which spread throughout his clique stealing their individual identities as it went, hiding them, never to be found again.
Rob, Mike, Liz, Roseanne, Martin, Agatha, Jenne and himself; all transformed from cosy, efficient, inclusive relationships into what they were now; dog owning, estate car owning, Sunday with the in-laws, Can’t ‘cause of the kids, Friday night recoveries in front of the TV. Families.
That first stag do though, when Mike was getting married to Agatha; he was definitely there, he wasn’t lost at this point. He remembered he was heroically drunk and laughing uproariously all night. Yes, he was definitely there. After that though…?
Was that the last time he could recall seeing himself? Was he already missing when he and Jenne shortly after their friends wedding talked about their own marriage, that it was the thing to do, and that if he did truly love her, then why not…?
No; he’d started to get confused about where he was but he wasn’t lost because the engagement had been followed by that moment. That dirty disgraceful moment, which even now as he tried to remember it in exact detail made him blush with shame.
Really it was nothing more than a drink after work with a colleague, Kate, who worked in accounts, or maybe it was a series of drinks? The thing was though, during those few short hours he knew exactly where he was and precisely what he had wanted, but he was weak and despite his true longing he had betrayed himself and walked away. Maybe he’d left himself in that bar, and he was there right now, crumpled up in a box out back somewhere in the office, waiting to be reclaimed. A reunion which would never happen.
He definitely was not there at the wedding. The fuss, the ceremony, the rings, vows, kisses, speeches, tears, the traditions observed, the expense; he was not present for any of it.
And the children? Weren’t they in some way meant to drive any concerns of where he’d gone from his mind, anaesthetise him, to allow him to focus on his primary task of preparing his offspring for the same feelings of loss they would invariably encounter many years down the line?
What about Jenne? Was she as lost as he?
It was a possibility, although if she was she certainly never showed it. Her outwardly confident and resolute mother, wife, career woman persona portrayed no signs of doubt. Maybe she wasn’t lost at all, maybe she had simply decided to leave herself somewhere, with a view in years to come to recover herself and pick up from where she’d left off.
Perhaps Jenne was at work, which is precisely where he had been for a time, that was until promotion and responsibilities meant he misplaced himself there also.
The truth was, the part of him that would care where she was, and would move heaven and hell to find her again, was already gone.
He was lost to him now. And it probably always would be.