Things are different now. Everything is, really, when it comes down to it. They are behind all these changes. Not in any perceptible nor quantifiable way, no, it is all much more subtle. Memories were the first telltale signs; Deyvid and I no longer shared many of our lifelong memories, after all, we'd known each other our entire lives. Certain childhood transgressions became debatable, questionable even, in his opinion. Apparently, he hadn't participated in the many voyeuristic expeditions that marked the onset of our teenage years. They had revolved around three particular houses; the homes of the two best looking girls on our street and that of the retired armed forces bigshot, always dark and full of boxes crammed with government documents. Apparently I had done so on my own, even though I have the distinct recollection of Deyvid pointing out the crazy veteran's house, one street over. I'd always preferred creeping around the girls' abodes.
If it had all been about misplaced memories, perhaps I'd have never thought twice about any of it. But then the disappearances begun. At first, they were explained away with the typical crap: so and so joined the Navy, the weird family behind Deyvid's house relocated stateside, a series of unfortunate car crashes had culled most family members five houses down, and so forth. After that, the mosquitoes took most of the blame; dengue and a handful of exotic tropical diseases spread throughout the island, causing amnesia and altering people's behaviors. The papers rarely delve into any of it, favoring instead the usual police blotter and violent ghetto stories. I seemed to be the only one noticing the steady decline in population, but as soon as I brought it up in conversation, even my closest friends like Deyvid made fun of my 'paranoid' delusions.
Then the acne onslaught. All around me, including Deyvid, whose darker complexion had seemed to spare him the worst in years past. I was alone at home one night - folks were at someone's wedding or something - and this big old blackhead was really itching and making me miserable. Deyvid was supposed to stop by to pick me up to go to his friend's evening pool party. There weren't that many pools in the neighborhood and everybody was expected to attend. So I did the only thing I could do, I tried to pop it.
I guess trying is the wrong word, since I was successful. It was much easier than I expected and once I had the blackhead on the tip of my finger, the itching completely stopped. Then it started moving, the blackhead. Obviously I was dumbfounded, frozen right where I stood in shock. It seemed groggy or something, at first, because it then spread its unbelievably tiny wings and took off. It flew like a hummingbird, hovering and executing precise movements. It hovered for a second before my eyes - was it clocking me?
And then there were two. Then three. All of them clocking me?!? I could feel how they were trying to tell me something. But maybe it was not me they meant to communicate with. Another spot on my face began to itch. And one on my arm too, which looked like a mosquito bite.
It's not the first time it happens, I'm sure, though I have no real recollection of it happening before. I just know it. I'm tired of finding myself staring into the mirror and forgetting what I was doing right before.
That's why I've begun writing about it. This time, though, I'm not losing the notebook.