What does okay even mean? (Oddly, I have an aversion to spelling it as just initials, I don’t know where I picked up this linguistic snootiness from.)
I’m going to resist to descend in the dark valley of a wikipedia list of possible etymologies and actually try to actually answer the question. This takes nerves of steel. Trust me.
Right now, I’m okay, and if we’re really talking about my childhood friends, I honestly have no idea. Looking at the era I was deeming childhood (pre-secondary school) for the last few posts, I have little to no contact with anyone. The only person I am really still in contact with from my primary school died almost nine years ago. I still feel in contact, and I feel he’s okay, but, well, you know. The undiscovered country and all that jazz.
I can’t work out if my childhood is one of the reasons why I am not on facebook, or one of the reasons I occasionally consider signing up. It appears I’d rather leave it in the dreamscape. I only really keep contact with the people who’ve been close enough to watch me really becoming me. I don’t know whether watching someone I haven’t seen in twenty years try to adjust to how much I’ve changed would be entertaining or not.
And of course, in my brain, those people are frozen. I cannot imagine what they are like now, where they are or what they might be doing. Ridiculously arrogantly, I sort of imagine they are all still in St Albans, living incredibly generic lives.
But I just don’t know.
I’ve also just remembered somebody. Two people in fact, who are still incredibly close friends, but I lost them for a long enough chunk of my growing up period that they don’t feel like friends from back then.
You can ask one of them how he is right now. The other, his brother, is the muscles of justice, living a metaphorical wrestler’s life in the civil service. Or something.
I’m pretty sure they’re okay, but then, I’m pretty sure they aren’t representative of anything but themselves.
There is no useful they. Whenever you think in those terms, extrapolating across time and space, and imagining a smear of possibility, you create nonsense.
Just like my memories have been distorted by the time I’ve spend being and becoming me, they have lived, changed and forgotten.
The people I shared my childhood with, are now different people, even if we could trace threads and thoughts to each other. I don’t have enough of a connection to any of them to know anything about them.
I don’t know if I even know if the people right next to me are really okay, at least not if I don’t stop writing presumptions and talk to them.
That’s the thing with now, it’s not all right in front of your eyes, you need to explore it to find out what it is.
Illustration by Henry