He was already gone.
He (there’s no need to name him, presumably (though if we must memorialise a specific name perhaps we ought to only call him John, rather than seem too cold towards him), we all know who this refers to (and after all didn’t we so often simply refer to him as “He” when we would talk of him – he was already absent (even when he sat amongst us at the cafe there was a sense that we’d lost him to some other world, and perhaps that’s where he is now) so much of the time then, as well, though this time irrevocably), we all have a shared (at least I hope we still share it, it’s been some time (and I regret this considerably, perhaps now is the time for us to band together, perhaps start a Facebook group (though is he really a suitable basis for a group of that kind, and what would we call it, “He”?) or something along those lines (I apologise for my vagueness, it isn’t meant to sound flippant, I simply don’t know what other technologies (it moves so fast!) might be available), if we can decipher (as if we were monks reading tomes by candle-light, perhaps – perhaps it could be romantic and hallowed to work together to understand our modern bibles of privacy) the privacy settings (is this how one refers to them?) to allow (amazing to me, still, that we must “apply” for privacy at all, and yet we must – and even when applied for there are layers upon layers, it seems) us our privacy) since I saw many of you) context (and isn’t context everything in the end?)) was (long ago, of course, longer ago than I sometimes care to recall (are we as old (certainly I am old enough to be more ambiguous than precise, perhaps I fear my memory wouldn’t withstand a dredging up (too close to the truth here, it’s impossible to avoid with words – they sneak up on me, metaphors tied so close to truths) of cold hard (again I almost wince) facts) as the calendar (mine features images of deserted countryside – or at least to me “deserted” (abandoned, even) seems the most fitting description, others may differ (I know that some of you certainly will and I accept that) and call it beautiful) tells me?)) already (it happened so fast (how can things (seemingly vague again, I know, but here I really do refer to the whole of existence, careening through space and time so impossibly quickly) happen so fast?) that in some ways it almost immediately (though only almost) became as though he had never been here (and one might well ask whether he really was here – was he? Are we certain we remember accurately, that he wasn’t a shared hallucination sitting with us, reassuring us with his distance and occasional (in every sense) pronouncement) in the first (and, now, last) place) gone (it felt quite intentional (could it have been any other way? Could it have conceivably been an accidental (there are no accidents (I heard him say this once, I think, did any of you?) – I think that is my philosophy, though it’s apt to change) departure? Did he ever do something he didn’t will?), like an oft-practiced (he always felt well-practiced (like a sensei of living, drilled to a point of automaticity in all things) and well-intentioned (or at least neutral I suppose – I’m prone to thinking even neutrality (if there is such a thing) is somehow well-meaning) to me, though I don’t know (I don’t know much at all in the first place, and I have what I think of as a terrible memory (though it saves me from the terrible memories I know I would have otherwise)) if I ever saw any of his trial runs) plan, he was gone so completely (not even a cufflink (I only remember him having one pair, wearing them relentlessly) or a cigarette end (Camels) remained, that I could find) and effortlessly (almost the ultimate betrayal – isn’t life supposed to be full of (futile) effort? (Isn’t that what it is?))).