I remember those dark days. It was always cold, even through the summer. Friends laughed and enjoyed fun times and I smiled for them. It was just easier. I didn't want to talk about anything, and they didn't want to hear about it anyway. I had always feared this feeling. I never wanted to know what it was like to stop caring, to not feel happiness or joy, I couldn't even feel sadness anymore. It was all gone and I didn't care. That was the worst part I think, simply not caring what was going on or what was going to happen in the future. None of it mattered anymore.
Too much had happened, too many things left unsaid. Too many goodbyes. I had no more appetite for life, no more appetite for food either. I lost fifty pounds that year. Through it all I put on the brave face, always a smile to hide behind. But what was I hiding? There was nothing there to hide. Only emptiness. Even the sadness had left, the hollow shell going through the motions of life but not really living it.
I remember not even caring if it ever came back. This nothingness seemed so much easier. So what if there was no joy, at least there was no pain, so this couldn't be all bad right? I could do this, so what if I checked out of life, I was still getting things done. Who cared anyway, it was my life to live or pass through however I wished.
No one ever asked. The people I had surrounded myself with at the time were too preoccupied with their own drama to worry about my non-interest. Looking back I don't think that was by design, just the luck of the draw. What would I have said if they had asked? "I'm fine." So simple. No one ever asks for more after that anyway. Like I said, generally too preoccupied to care.
I remember what it was like, but I don't remember how it ended. No one moment, not even a series of moments stand out as the beacons of feeling. I only know one day real smiles and real sadness had re-entered my life. No fanfare, no celebration, No one noticed I had returned either. Though I suppose if I didn't see any monumental change, it might not be so surprising that no one else saw a change either.
I realize now that life is much better while actually living it, but it means so much more now with perspective. I feel now, all of it, and so much more than I ever could before. I smile when I'm happy, and only then. There is no time for false anything anymore. I don't fear the darkness anymore, having lived through it. I certainly don't want to go back there, but I will never forget the lessons that year in the dusk taught me.