Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm still alive

And that is really all I feel like writing. I’m still alive. Do I deserve to be? Is that the question? And if so, if so, who answers?

I can’t figure it out. Life just feels like a matter of survival right now. Why does it feel like I have just been trying to survive for the past year (and possibly quite longer than that)? Logically, I have absolutely no right to be just surviving. I make rent every month, I can pay my bills, I can go out to eat, I can drink Grey Goose & tonics, and still manage to save for The Goal. For that matter, I have the freedom, in so many senses of that word, to pursue The Goal. There are people in my life who love me. There are people in my life that even, inexplicably, like me. Most all of my family and friends are in good health. I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me.

And yet, it feels like I’m barely getting by. How can that be? Today, I realized I could pay a sum of money, a sum I could easily part with, to meet a musician I’ve wanted to meet for over ten years. But I also realized that I need to get to work on The Goal, which was thoroughly shirked while AL was visiting.

I never thought I would be one of those people who have means, but no time. When I was young, it felt like there was all the time in the world, and it was destined to pass me by, minute by minute, marking all the opportunities I never had. And now, the opportunities are all within reach, and I watch them pass by, missed. Maybe it’s just a matter of age. Maybe it’s not that we get any wiser, but instead get an increased sense of urgency. Some things take precedent over others. We have to prioritize, make those difficult choices that feel a bit like sacrifice.

Once, explaining the process of living in San Francisco to W, I wrote to him:
I came here for many reasons, but one of the overriding factors was escape. Relying upon that reflex, the flight response, is not a bad thing. It’s necessary. But in the end, wherever you go, there you are. I moved to San Francisco and pretended that I had never met Q; I lived in a state of survival. In my protective cocoon, I was happy, but it was the happiness that is associated with the relief of finding out that you have survived a nearly fatal experience. Again, I’m being overly dramatic. What happened between Q and I was so minor, should have been so insignificant, it is absurd how much of an effect it had on me, and how long it took me to be okay about it. One train hides another: you think you are okay, but then you are hit with the next train of inexplicable, illogical feelings.

And in my case, the thing with Q only turned out to be good. In the end, I wound with a kind of peace about my nature, how not everyone can fit into convention, and how that is not in fact tragic, but beautiful. And now, the possibilities feel infinite and everything seems to hold more promise.

But what I failed to tell him is that my conclusion, that conclusive feeling of potential energy, is elusive. It appears for a moment, a candle illuminating a thought for a brief second. Just when I think I see it, the flame goes out. And far more disturbing is the fact that I wrote that to him at least two years ago. Two years ago, and I’m still living like someone who is just trying to get by.

This is a problem, of course, with no solution. I could give up and be content; after all, it makes much more sense to live in the present tense. But having tasted a life wasted, I’m never going back again. My main fear is that this hopeless situation is what I'm trying to achieve. But I have to squelch that fear for now, because I can spare no more time on introspection.

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