Generally speaking, people don't change.
As a species, we excel at the comfortable. We dig our little holes and we stick to them with crochity tenacity. We're like crabs. Except that some crabs change shells. Humans are same-shell crabs.
That said, there are those rare occasions in life--those almost unheard of instances--those moments of legend--where, in a moment, you realize, often with awe, the amazing power of the human mind to completely transform a person...
into an idiot.
Think about it. You know exactly what I mean. You recall the day; it began unassumedly enough. You wore your old t-shirt and arrived 5 minutes late for what was bound to be just another ordinary lunch with a friend, only to realize within moments of picking up your menu that your once-logical friend has somehow magically transformed into a certifiable cray cray.
And all you can do is watch the lunacy unfold.
Before your very eyes, this friend--your roommate from sophomore year, your big brother/big sister from your fratern/sorority, your former coworker--has gone from comfortable confidant to special guest expert on Ancient Aliens.
The tipoff is usually subtle. You may even question if you heard him/her correctly. "Surely ____ didn't just say...?"
Slowly it dawns on you that the answer is 'yes.' Yes, Jerome DID just send the salad back to the kitchen because he claimed it was undercooked.
Your eyebrows furrow. What is happening here? Surely there is some misunderstanding. Surely there has been some...
Mid thought, you are jarred from your perplexed internal questioning by a shrill exclamation. "Soooo! Have I told you my new favorite color is chartreuse?"
"I LOVE ELEPHAAAAAAAANTS!"
Upon reflection, this MAY be a hyperbolic example, but, given my recent life experiences, it's not that far off.
Turns out people you know--or think you know well-- can pull an out-of-the-blue, out of character move with such a swiftness that it leaves you broken, winded, mouth agape wondering what in popsicle hell just happened.
Where in the world did that reaction/exclamation/decision come from? Because the person I knew would never do something like that. What in the world would inspire this person to do a complete 180?
The confusion gets more disturbing: you start questioning yourself.
Have there been signs that I just missed? Is there something I could have done to pull him back from the cliff?
And then, the coup de gras: your sanity falters as your questions reach a paranoia fever pitch.
Has he always been this way? Is this really who he is and I just never saw it? What is wrong with me?
Now in a hysterical frenzy all your own, you completely lose yourself. You start muttering and pacing like a crazy person as you contemplate all of the possible implications, the signs, the hidden meanings behind what just happened... And all the while your former friend is gone. Off yelling somewhere about the elephants.
Cliff's Notes: (Author's 'what-the-hell-I'm-yammering-on-about's):
Thing is, how well do we ever really know the people we align with? Can we ever really know them? And what d you say when the person you thought you knew goes on permanent hiatus, replaced by someone that, generally speaking, you'd go 5,000 miles out of your way to avoid?
What happens when Jekyll goes home and Hyde comes out?