Each day he felt the distance growing,
separating him from where and whom
they thought he should want to be.
Though he was adrift in the currents
of prevailing winds, he felt the pull
of strong undertows -- and he didn't know
to which he should acquiesce
or against which he should struggle.
He neither acquiesced nor struggled.
"Didn't he think he should shave,
shower regularly, get a hair cut, lose weight,
shine his shoes, change clothes, and show up early?
Shouldn't he set an example?"
He wanted to imagine a "but" to refute
apparent logic, could do no better
than to scribble description
which drifted across the pad,
influenced by other undertows.
He tried to last, having once believed
in the universal flux, but could no longer.
Finally, he avoided mirrors and others' eyes,
kept to the rooms' darker corners, and
no longer engaged in conversation --
not even with himself.