I just overheard someone make a comment that rings true on many levels. He said to somebody “There is your side of the story, then there’s their side of the story, and then there is what really happened.”

Yes. So many narratives we craft about our lives are the stuff of fantasy, for better or worse. Sometimes it’s self-defense, or the nursing of one’s dignity. Other times we rewrite memories subconsciously, even to a point of mental illness. We rearrange facts, and choose them to our liking. It makes me think that there is not one among us who truly knows who they are.

It makes me question if reality even exists, or if it matters. It’s like taking the fake news term to a scary, well, reality. What precedents, what priority does reality earn in the context of dueling narratives?

There must be some source to document what really happened. Facts have to land somewhere, if not on the floor than in a kitchen cabinet. What really happened cannot just vanish. There is, of course, no court of law for most disagreements. There should be a process, though, for understanding how the  differences between people drove them apart, or brought them together, without the phony courtroom pleadings of “not guilty” and the like.

Such a process will never be. Truth vanishes. That is reality’s reward for intruding on our solitary, unseen delusions we maintain about ourselves.

I want to move on from this live I’ve been living. I am not so old that it could not or cannot happen. I think of playing piano on a ship or in a hotel and imagine it would be something imperfect, but which would suit me fine. I’d be both public and solitary, assuming I played only as a soloist. That context, with people milling about and there being noise, appeals to my sense of randomness more than the organized, formal environment of a concert hall. But it also sounds like work I’m not fully cut out for. Inevitably I’d have to play show tunes and Adele covers, which I can do but not as well as others. Reading through showtunes today I heard the stiffness, the unfamiliarity and even discomfort with the style. But music like that comes alive when others are around. Playing through it in solitude is just not the proper environment.

How much of my life has passed in solitude? How much more?