I walked home that night with such vitriol that my shoes were filled with blood.
That, indeed, was how it was. That was the state of the evening.
I drifted from a queue with hasty lies and reticent preference. I mumbled my excuses and left the people standing there in the bitter cold. They were happy, they had each other. They were talking and laughing and remembering things that did not include me. I had embroidered my presence into their childhoods all evening, but the thread had finished.
Damn acquaintance, you tempt me from afar. You make me do it.
Walking through the evening streets and picking my way through the drunk revellers, I anticipated the journey ahead. This was not the journey, this was the journey to the journey. I could see their faces ahead of me in the night air, in my mind. We would talk of our separate evenings and sleep in our separate beds.
They were not there.
I hated them for ten minutes.
I hated myself for twenty.
I walked home in thirty.
I was asleep before I saw the clock.
This is how I have felt since the days of my learning, and I am still learning.
Apologies will not do in this instance.