I keep thinking how strange it is how my life turned out. 30 years ago I was in the middle of this big, dynamic scene of people on Telegraph Avenue. And then, over the years, everybody else came and went. Except for me. For some reason I’m still here. Like The Last Man Standing or something. The only survivor of an apocalypse.
It happened so gradually I didn’t notice it at first. One by one people would move on to something different. Or a lot of them would die. While I was the one left behind. . . I guess at some point I should have thought: “Hey maybe I should get a life or something??” But I guess I really couldn’t think of anything. . . Sometimes it seemed like Telegraph was a phase that a lot of people went through for a period. But then it was like they graduated from college and went on to bigger and better things (though in truth a lot of them wiped out and went on to something worse, too). While I kept flunking out. Kept having to repeat my senior year over and over in perpetuity, forever. . . Or maybe Telegraph was like a banana peel I kept slipping on every time I tried to leave.
Sometimes I feel like that fabled Japanese soldier in WWII, who was stranded on some desert island in the Pacific, the last surviving member of his platoon. And for 30 he kept on fighting WWII by himself because nobody told him that the war had ended.
And now it’s just me. I’ll sit on a bench somewhere. Remember sitting on this very same bench 30 years ago. Surrounded by all these other people. But now it’s just me. Surrounded by ghosts.