Pinch me, this cannot be real, I said. So he did and pinched a nerve. I would have thought god to be a cerebral kind of guy but he is all the way slapstick. It is day three now of waking up feeling my back in deep freeze, feeling the soldering gun poke it alive just to get out of bed. But maybe it’s the rain that is knocking on my joints. August came in doing its best impression of fall and, to be honest, these days I do not mind the summer leaving early. For me, the grays are colorful enough. There really is nothing quite like looking up at the sky and letting rain cleanse your eyes of the night’s rust. Best reserved for the nice part of town, though. A person could go blind blinking through rain seasoned with smoke from good ol’ american coal burning upwind. But that’s neither here nor there. The nerve is real, the day is real, and I am not seizing it like it seized me. I have gone to see the doctor more times this year than in the whole of my life. Stress, they say. All that tension, in your head and muscles, you’re not releasing it properly. Exercise, walk, eat better. It all sounds great, doc, but I think it is all a test from the great Chaplin upstairs. The physical pain I can bear. It is when he turns my golden years into satire that has got me worried.
I am waking up covered in the ashes of my youth. My twenties are packing up their shit and moving out, leaving me sitting in an empty apartment with thirty. This is building up to be the worst blind date of my life. My twenties aren’t bringing much with them, though. The place didn’t exactly accumulate a wealth of “stuff.” Sure, there are a lot of memories, but the question is how many of them are desirable to revisit? My twenties were spent sleeping on the floor and waking up on a treadmill. Constantly moving from hangover to blackout to a panicking sobriety lasting no more than a week. Then the cycle would pick back up until a year slipped by. Plans to get shit together were scribbled in sharpies on lined paper torn from college ruled notebooks, taped up on the wall to be stared at with steadily evaporating motivation until the next alcohol-induced paralysis hit. Goals, dreams, ambitions…, any courses of action were flirtations, quickly forgotten against the easy lusting seduction of drinking. The escape that left no exit. Now here I am, in the hole I dug, ready to break the shovel in half in hopes of remaining with a splintered end sharp enough to fall on. But these are jokes. I don’t want to die, but I sure love writing about it. The fantasy is enough for me. I’m too stubborn to give up on my life, and too self-aware of just how privileged I am to be who I am and to exist where I do. The self-pity of the global 1%. Yea, I’ll bitch and moan. But I’ll get through this. We’ll get through this together.