Every so often I will look down at my body and wonder who it belongs to. Like, I'll be sitting at my computer, and I look at the screen, and then I look down. My hands are placed neatly on the keyboard, not moving. I can almost not feel them. My head starts to feel strange. Not light, necessarily, but disattached. Disengaged. Distant. I am positive that those hands down there on the keyboard don't belong to my body. How can I explain the feeling? I can almost see the whole body over there on the swivel chair, and it just doesn't seem like mine. Whose body is sitting there? Who is living my life while I am sitting here in their body for them? Who is out doing all the things I want to do, and LIVING while I am sitting here filling in their spot, and dying? That's what I wonder about sometimes. Which lucky bitch ended up with my life. I hope she's enjoying her time in Italy. I hope she gets to see Venice and Paris and go sky diving and climb Mt. Everest She mustn't forget to buy that $700 camera, and use it to take pictures of the Alps. I wonder what she's enjoying most in Greece and Sicily. How many languages she can speak by now? I hope she gets to the Louvre, Madame Toussad's, and Ayers Rock. And she'd better be enjoying the life she has, because she could have gotten worse: she could have landed the one i'm living for her.

Let me add to this, after having read what baffo said:
What is stopping me from doing these things? What is holding me back from locating the usurper of my dreams and living them myself? So it's friends, or family. So there are practical considerations. But here I am, and there are strange hands in front of me on the keyboard. I'm not sure that my awareness of detatchment is a bad thing. Because maybe this time I'll be spurred into action, Maybe this time I will take hold of my future and try to shape it my way.
Let me contribute: It does not depend on the kind of life you live. The feeling is inside you.

I travel around. I speak four languages. I have a $700 camera. And a good job, doing what I like and being paid for it.
I know the Alps, I have hiked and skied there. Nonetheless, the same feeling you describe is very frequent for me. I consider myself, and wonder "Who is this guy ? Is he really me ?".

There are days when I look at myself in the mirror, and I am surprised. I don't know what I am expecting, but surely it is not the guy with the ponytail and the untrimmed beard that looks back at me.

Maybe the real me still lives in Italy, in Milan to be precise. I am sure he reads my books and listens to my CDs. He probably married a nice Italian girl, from a good family: they are having two children next year.
Or could it be that the real me stayed behind, in Pittsburgh ? He tried to enter graduate studies at CMU, failed, and is now hacking somewhere in the Pennsylvania State University.
Or he staid in Paris, his French much improved, probably programming in SAP. He rarely visits the Louvre, only tourists do that. He lives with a bisexual guy named Ahmadou, and they have already visited Algeria, despite the danger.

Traveling fucks up your mind really well. I can think of all these potential baffos, each on of them product of reasonable choices, possibly happier ones. Nonetheless, the current me is the product of those choices, which I cannot ignore.

But the body knows that everything could be different: I, you, we could be eating real ciabatta in Venice right now, watching the pigeons and planning a trip to the Punta della Dogana (Ezra Pound's favourite spot there). We are not; I am typing this on a dry meseta in a subtropical climate, you are who knows where, probably somewhere in the US, or Canada, or some other place.


Maybe this feeling we get, that you expressed much more clearly than I did, means that it is time for a change.

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