When people disappear they do so delicately, tripping inwards into some new version of themselves. It’s little things that you don’t give a second glance to until the occurrences build up to be a regularity and you realize you just don’t know someone anymore. It never mattered to listen to music you didn’t like or eat foods that made you sick, attend parties you couldn’t care less about or talk about things that make you yawn. Life changes and so do you, and you forget that the people around you change simultaneously.
Most people think of themselves as good, or lovable, or kind, even if a little rough. It can be uncomfortable to remind yourself that there exist people who don’t like you. I wake up sometimes wondering why that is, or how they got to that point. What little moments existed with me looking the other direction while they started to build this dislike?
I went on a run this morning, just a little jog. On the way back home I saw a worm in the middle of the sidewalk. He was big, and looked partially dried out like he was dead, but I think I saw him move. Suddenly it’s raining and I’m ten, out in the middle of the street picking up worms from the cement and putting them in a plastic cup full of dry dirt. I told my parents I had to rescue them all before they drowned. I bare-fingered the worms into the dirt and put them somewhere dry, content that I had saved every single one I could find. I kept walking past this one, stuck in the middle of the daylight, aware that in a few hours the sun would hit the high point and if it wasn’t dead then it would be soon. I told myself it was the worms fault for wiggling out into the middle of the sidewalk in the first place and not staying in the dirt where it belonged.
I wonder a lot why people don’t like me, or why people disappear so delicately tripping inwards into themselves, but I’ve never wondered the same about myself.