To take the time to recreate all of the variables that contributed to the moment in which the spell was cast would require you to hire several teams of crime scene investigators paired with acting troupes, and ask them to endlessly rehearse their performances, adding in intricate nuances to produce subtle shifts in the very fabric of your physical reality, creating a myriad of butterfly effects swelling out from the epicenters of all the thoughts, words and deeds that coursed in and out of your life; leading up to the moment in which the spell was cast.
You might have resisted the spell or not even noticed the spell at all–had X, Y, Z, etc. been taking place off to the side of the stage of your mind.
But, you did not resist the spell. In fact, you woke up many mornings throughout the spell, feeling absolutely fine and completely of a sound mind.
You wake up and walk around the room viewing the aftermath of the cast spell, seeing all of the objects it brought and changes it wrought for the first time. Nothing is unfamiliar, but nothing seems to be quite of you, either. The same goes for the face you view in the mirror: by some liberal definition of what your face must look like, you can clearly see that it is you. But, beyond this general, fuzzy recognition, there is nothing there that you can lay claim to.
You kind of feel like you do in those dreams where you walk into a room of strangers who inhabit your home, and they all appear to recognize you, so you go along with it, and feel as if you are communicating through the mouth of another human. As you stand inside your boss’s office this Monday morning, you can rely on a bank of well-rehearsed scripts and oft-consulted tutorials to yield the right responses to the words and body language she is forming in front of you. But, each thought signal you send down to your facial muscles feels like a puppet master’s string pulling.
You can always plead that you’ve had too little or too much coffee if anyone calls you out on your behavior, and lets you know that you seem…just a little off this morning. By now, you’ve played this role long enough that you know not to be too incredibly forceful, animated, spirited or intense. But, at the same time, you have to engage your facial muscles appropriately and conscientiously modulate your voice to prevent anyone from thinking you are incapable of emoting.
With the spell now no longer cast, you understand that your time is up for sitting in the back row under the shadows of the balcony above you, hiding from the certain moment when someone in the theater will spot you and demand that you participate. You are up on the stage now, prepared to make your entrance, and the only way off of it would be to keep on walking out of the theater if you were so inclined to disappoint everyone insight by excusing yourself and declaring that this particular play doesn’t require your participation.
Not many are in the theater, but the ones who are are the only ones that matter.
You wake up seeking other kinds of spells to be cast upon you. It doesn’t feel right, to be this naked and unadorned with some kind of immediate sense of purpose, a vision whose gratification is only slightly delayed. You feel incapable of even so much as existing if you are not spellbound.
There are plenty of prospects. You could take up the study of the classics, and read only Greek and Roman playwrights, poets and philosophers. Your spell could be a longing to reconnect with the ancient world–the world that the modernization of the 20th Century thoroughly destroyed. You could live as if no art has mattered after Monet’s Water Lillies. This approach has its merits, even if you opt for a spell of hard bopping jazz, refusing to believe that any other kind of jazz was made.
The spell of being immortal ended many years ago, and it renders seeking after new spells almost impossible. Your time is finite.
Maybe this is how all the other grown-ups your age have been living for the past fifteen years or more–spell-free and facing the here and now, taking life day by day.
But, you can’t live this way–spell free, and holding no illusions about your future.