Thursday, July 27

Your body breaks, your needs consume you forever

I spent the bulk of Wednesday in a foul mood -- a profoundly foul mood, the kind you can feel rotting your insides. I've been waking up that way lately. Ever since I got back from Nashville I've just been off-kilter. Sleeping later than usual. Drinking too much soda. Not exercising. Grimacing at kittens. That sort of thing.

Could be the heat. Could be PMS. Could be old annoyances come home to roost once again. Could be lots of things. Little bits of my life, like squares on a Rubik's Cube, are clicking over and around, in constant frustrated motion, and my mood has followed suit.

Lately I'm spending a lot of mental energy fantasizing about the future. (I say "lately" like this is something I do infrequently. Hardly.) It's nearly impossible to imagine days-to-come without a heaping helping of hyperbole, I've found. It's sort of the same thing that happens when the brain lets you dream a better scenerio than you know could ever happen in waking life. Imagining that things are going to be better one of these days is how I get through the day, really. But, then, there is a certain sweetness to imagining the mundane moments of my future and how they'll mirror the mundane moments I relish in the present: Brassy sunset light filling up the windows and dining room and warming the floorboards; sitting in the hallway on the rug and rubbing the ferrets as they yawn and stretch and lick my arm; opening a pantry stocked with real food. Are these things the only bits of my life I'll recognize in a few years? Or will I have the same life, the same issues, the same moods, just in a different location? The same location?

And what about this vessel of mine? I am the ultimate hyprocrite in that I find no comfort in watching myself grow older and more tired, though I tend to think of the aging process as a natural way to gain wisdom and dignity. But as wrinkles carve their way into my forehead and around my mouth, my pores flatten and spread, my teeth get yellow, my bones crack and pop when I move, my jowls sag, the skin beneath my eyes sags, my feet become calloused and rough, my fingers wrinkle up and look odd like they're on a stranger's hand, I start wondering what I can do to slow down this hasty march toward mortality. The saddest part of that, I think, is that I'm young. I've got some time, I hope. But there isn't really a part of me that feels young anymore. And I'm not sure that's something I could just up and reclaim someday. Maybe I'll be one of those women who gets a second wind in the middle of her life, or even late in her life, and makes it count. Or maybe I'll flatline the entire time I'm alive, never quite feeling the same sense of being alive and being present I had -- or think I had -- several years ago.

I'm looking for a cure-all, see, which is so obviously ridiculous that I almost can't even believe I'm falling for it. Right now, I'm falling for it. There's a black monolith somewhere in my future that will jerk me up by the collar and I will watch as every element of my life falls into place and makes sense and, while nothing will ever be perfect and many of those life elements will be idiosyncratic, I will feel like I have control again. I will own my life, I will enjoy it, I will make sense of it, and I will want to fully inhabit it. The monolith could be anything: A piece of art, a person, a job, a conversation, a city, an event.

And there will be pain, sure. But it will be constructive pain, necessary pain. Pain that is part of the story. Pain that makes you grow and evolve and transcend. Not the random pain that just makes valuable parts of you shrivel and harden -- the pain that teaches nothing but self-pity.

The irony is, as much as I want to own and inhabit my life, I think I'm getting into territory here that is dangerously like determinism. Because, in a lot of ways, free will is purely perceived in my little fantasy. See, fate has got me taken care of. All the time I spend fretting about the quality of my life and how much space I deserve to take up will not be spent in vain. The universe will cradle me when the time comes. Not now while I'm learning valuable things, but later. Later it will make sense. Even if I have to wait until I die, it's going to make sense, and it's going to make me happy. Right?

Gah, I hate writing this stuff down as it comes to me and then re-reading it and realizing what an acute moron I can be. Am.

The truth is, I don't know how to articulate what I want, or if I would ever be able to recognize it if I got it. I feel unsuited to this life, like I did a good job building it up but I'd like to pass it off to someone who knew better what to do with it.

Because, seriously, I think I'm screwing it up.


Blogger ml said...

Nice post. Somtimes I grimace at little children.

Thu Jul 27, 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks. You know what's funny? I'm the opposite when it comes to little kids. I force myself to smile when I see kids, especially if their parents are around. I have no idea why, but I hate it.

Thu Jul 27, 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

You inspire me, my friend.

Thu Jul 27, 01:26:00 PM  

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