So, I get scared sometimes.
And not just of angry wasps or losing my job somehow or all the usual fears the we learn to live with on this meandering path.
It's not a fear of death (except maybe in the long-term sense) or a fear of physical harm, or the titanic worries of a parent, the mind-boggling kind of midnight concern that I can't even begin to understand.
It's just vague dread, a kind of floating, drifting specter of... of something hanging above me.
It's a combination of things, I think. The aging thing is a constant for me. I'm told by others that I'm "only" 27, but already that feels so old to me, a faraway age where I was supposed to have been at a certain place by now, and am not. And I work with folks who are younger than me now, something that I'm not used to, and I see raw, unrealized potential in them, and I think back on myself and wonder if people looked at me that way when I was 22, wondering what I'd accomplish in the next five years and how far I'd go.
And no matter how far I go, it never seems like I've traversed the distance. It never feels like I've caught up with Phantom Omar, the shapeless, amorphous me that was supposed to be There by Now. Instead, I'm Here, and it's not There, and as nice as it is Here, it's not quite where There was supposed to be. And That is depressing sometimes.
I have close friends who are doing amazing things with their lives now. Having babies, publishing novels, moving to new cities with little more than the clothes on their backs and what's inside their brains. And I'm not jealous of that, really I'm not. I'm proud of my friends. And I love where I live. I'm not ready to have kids. And as much as I'd like to finish this book I'm writing, I realize that it's going to take a lot longer than I expected and that I shouldn't force the issue on myself.
But there's a nag inside me, one that tells me I should be creating, pushing, getting stuff out of myself and Out There.
The truth is, sometimes I sit down at the computer and there's nothing there. Nothing comes out, nothing emerges and I can convince myself that there's not an original thought in my head, nothing worth sharing, nothng worth writing or giving life to.
That's when it gets bad.
It's nameless. It's unworthy of mention, because really, look at the problems other people in the world are having. How can I complain about not having nothing extraordinary to say where there's food in my stomach, shingles over my head and loving people in my life?
So it's back on me, then, to fail myself. To fail against the idealized version of where I'd be by now. 27.
I've let things grind me down when I promised I never would. I remember, a long time ago, dating someone while I was in college. The woman I was seeing was already out there, working a real job, and I used to get impatient and marvel at how when she got home at night, all she wanted to do was hang out, rest, collect herself.
And I would think that was such a waste. I would rail against the idea of resting, of not keeping busy after the day job.
I still do that with myself; If I'm not rehearsing or writing, or working something out when my work hours are done, I feel lost, as if time's a-wasting.
But then, lately, more often than I like, there's a new feeling: Exhaustion. Wanting to do nothing more than sit on the couch and veg in front of Manchild, or play video games, or do anything to avoid what's become a chore: trying to create.
It takes energy. It takes thought. And sometimes, as unimaginable as I might have once considered it, it's more pleasurable to just not have to think. To just shut it off. Chill. Go mute.
It's horrifying. Like Flowers for Algernon, knowing on some level that you're losing something little by little, and being powerless to stop it. Knowing that at some point, you might not even be aware that things are different and that you're not the same hungry, searching person anymore.
It's a pathetic fear, in some ways. You feel like an asshole complaining about yourself. Because you do have control. You can change and move forward. But it just seems so much harder now, and I wish I knew why. It used to come automatic, and now it feels like so much more work for the same result. It used to feel like a flamethrower, rampaging, unstoppable. Now it's a Bic lighter than needs to coaked into working, the flint chipped and struggling.
So that it. That's the lament. That's what keeps me up at night. That's my worry, the biggest one I have.
I'm trying. I'm trying really hard. So why doesn't that ever seem like enough?
Speaking of scary... A review of our big LCP show appeared in the local alternative weekly, and honestly, I can't make heads or tails of it. There are factual errors galore, but just the way the review is written doesn't make a damn lot of sense to me. Maybe you'll have an easier time deciphering it. Mr. Curran lost me at about the "Swedish chef" line."
Hey, look at this! Stuff to buy! Haaawwwt-Damn!
The building was invariably described as "short," and/or "stout."