Here it is: November again. I marvel over it: at how much can go on in a year, how much can go wrong in a year. I feel stoic in my life. A bystander, silently watching things as they go awry, more awry, and set themselves to right again. There's gravity in all things, if I'm permitted to be grave. Visualising see-saws, with chance on either side, fighting for the earth - to be at rest. I hold in my mind many other lives, several of them my own. With time they have passed by, but I wonder what pieces of each remain. What have I held onto? What fragments compose me now? How much of myself have I chosen? I don't recall flipping that coin.

I evaluate my life.

There was a time all I wanted was to be a journalist.
There was a time all I wanted was to have fun.
There was a time all I wanted was to get run down by a car.
There was a time all I wanted was to make the rent.
There was a time all I wanted was anything different.
Now I have everything different.
Now I don't want anything.
Except perhaps to speak to The Boy in my Philosophy Class.

Is this progress?
What did I give up to gain everything?

I sense the things lurking in the shadows. Coyly waiting to go wrong. Another see-saw: common sense and paranoia. How do I stop the things I could never stop before? What power do I have over this life I've never felt in control of?

Conforming to fit my own excuses. I am at fault. I am at every fault. I am at the heart of everything that has ever gone wrong. Yet somehow I got here. Sweet liquid to chase a bitter pill. High upon this stack of inconsistencies I rest. I hold the balance, or I tip the scale.

Flippant as I may be, I am still solid, with enough weight to upset everything, or to block out those shadow-lurking nuisances. I am able.

It is a foreign concept, the aftertaste metal in my mouth. Fear, you might call it.

Another November. Another year with only tentative conclusions.