So it seems as though there ought to be something insightful to put here, but really it’s just another night so far. I was watching the times square stuff on the tube for a while and I didn’t really have the feelin’. No idea why. I guess I’m just too old now. Birthdays? Whateva. Xmas? Right, okay. New Year? Sure.
In general the people I love best are far away from me most of the time and many have been pushed to the fringes of my life. This seems like a backward state of affairs, but when they are nearby I’m not necessarily happy (in fact, experience shows the opposite). I suppose this state of affairs is called ‘modernity.’
“He roller coaster
He got early warning
He got muddy water
He one mojo filter
He say ‘one and one and one is three’
Got to be good looking ’cause he’s so hard to see
Come together right now over me”
Okay, so there’s something wrong these days. I keep starting email messages to friends, then aborting them halfway through and never sending. I open up the blog form and then close it again. I pick up the phone to dial, then put it away again, bewildered.
I am losing something. Words, mostly. Thoughts. Insights. Something deeper than that that has no name. Why is it that I don’t have anything to say anymore to anyone, and what does it mean for my future? Is it simply that too many things have happened in the last few years and some part of me has gone on sabbatical to collect itself?
Or is it something more simple and maybe a little bit frightening? Say, an indicator that I have made the wrong choices somewhere along the way and am living in the middle of a life that isn’t exciting me, that isn’t quite what I want, in which I am not terribly motivated to participate or reflect, but am rather merely going through motions?
I wonder. Sometimes recently I wonder. Was Alaska right? I don’t know. If there is something that is “supposed” to be (however you want to interpret such a phrase, whether allusory, theologically, colloquially or whatever), I don’t think it was Alaska. Maybe it was staying in Chicago, though somehow I don’t think so on that count either. If there is something that “would really keep me awake” versus the “I’m falling asleep, maybe” problem I seem to have just now, I suspect it’s something that I’m not aware of.
I don’t know. I want to be excited, I want to be motivated, I want to not want to go to bed because I’m so engrossed I can’t possibly sleep and to wake up at 5.00 in the morning because I can’t wait to get back to whatever it is.
But I don’t know what it is.
Once, a very long time ago, it was programming and computer science.
Then, for a while, it was writing, arts, poetry, blah, blah—”creative” stuff.
Later, it was academics, social theory, film, criticism.
More recently, it was a certain motorhome for a while… and then photography…
But there is no “life’s work” here. There is no “life’s work” anywhere in my life—not a significant other relationship, not a coherent ‘career,’ not a child to raise, nor a book to write, nor a quest to complete. That is what is missing—some notion of a life’s work.
Or maybe I’ve just come full circle back to what I’m always moaning about on this godforsaken blog: that I need a reason to wake up in the morning and so far I don’t see it. That I’m a single adult in this wilderness of urban modernity and capitalism that we’re supposed to embrace as “the best of all possible worlds.”
Dammit, I hate it when I realize I’m repeating myself over and over and over again.
“So what are you gonna do about it?” I can hear some of my friends asking.
I dunno. Take steps maybe. I almost did the other day. Silly, uncouth steps. But steps nonetheless. Maybe I do something crazy as hell, which I’m thinking right now but don’t really want to write. Probably I won’t, at least yet. Probably, for the moment, I’ll just go to bed, get up, and go to bed again for the next seven days, then fly back to New York and do the same for a few more years. Maybe I’ll try to have faith in New York for a while.
I suppose that sounds like a plan.