Thursday, May 19, 2016
Luck and Cynicism
I used to enjoy the occasional crappy day. No, really. I had this sense that my life was "lucky," that I was a lucky person. I had no evidence of this whatsoever. I had passable looks--I mean, no one was stopping on the street to stare at my monstrousness, nor at my blinding beauty--and I was taking a couple of college courses here and there while getting up every morning at 5 a.m. to go to a bleak waitressing job where I got yelled at for five or six hours, then I'd take some leftovers home in a styrofoam box and rent a movie or maybe go for a hike in the woods, and for some reason, sitting in that tiny apartment with its tiny oven so small that it couldn't even fit a whole chicken, I felt lucky.
Nothing really got me down. Maybe I was confused. Maybe I didn't understand that I was being shit on all the time. But hey, all that matters is that I felt lucky. So once in a while, I'd have a truly, epically bad day. We're talking, getting a plate thrown at me by an irate short-order cook, smacking a fly on the window with a piece of mail and smashing that window (fly still in the apartment), and going to the hardware store but not making it because a tire exploded and I ran off the road into a Chinese restaurant parking lot. Now that would be pretty bad, right? By anyone's standards. And there I'd be, in the rain next to my busted car in the days of no cell phones, and the whole thing felt like a thrilling ride.
I was up for a challenge in those days. I had energy to spare. And hey, it was the least the universe could do to me, considering how great my life was, after all.
When relationships ended badly--as all of mine have, up to this point, except the current one, which goes on doggedly pleasantly, as if it's too dumb to realize that I fuck everything up, eventually--I bawled my eyes out onto the side of the stuffed donkey I've had since I was nine, and at some point, I'd pick myself up and get ready for the next adventure in love. I had broken hearts, and I mended them. The thrill of "what's next" was got me--what's around the next corner? Maybe the love of my life. Or maybe the hot dog that will change my entire perception of hot dogs (that, fyi, has not happened; hot dogs are still finely minced assholes boiled for our consumption, and exceedingly disgusting). Hey, whatever was next, I was ready! The future was a shining city! With monorails and Logan's Run attire!
So what happened. That's your question, right? Mine, too. At some point, bitterness replaced joy. Cynicism replaced hope. And then the worst--passivity. Eh. Meh.
I think I forgot how to be alive. Maybe that happens after the train wreck that's our twenties. I once felt like a conqueror, a warrior, an explorer. And now I feel... meh.
It can't be money, or things, because I didn't have them back then. It's got to be something inside.
If I dig it out, scrape off the moldering rot of depression, what will I find? Will I be me again? Or--oh, jesus, is this me? Now and forever?
Well, hell. I suppose I could go for a walk, see what the day brings. I could attempt...something. I could have a drink at quarter to ten in the morning.
This isn't meant to be an inspirational bullshit kind of thing, nor is it a cry for help. It's just rambling. I'm gonna hang in there, have another cup of tea, and maybe later, understanding will creep in. Or not.
P.S. Book 1's at 93,000 words. It's a mess. But holy crap, I wrote 93,000 words that almost make sense. Books 2-4 however... Well. Well.