In Five Years Time

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. – Shakespeare

 

Five years.

Half a decade, sixty months, 5% of a century or how every you would like to represent it numerically. It doesn’t matter. Humans like seeing patterns and five just seems to scream its aesthetic value to us.

From the past, the future of five years seemed vast and never ending. Go ahead and ask yourself where you were five years ago- physically and metaphysically. What were you doing? Your plans? Your friends? Who did you admire, crush on, love or hate? Where did you live? What did you know?

In five years, who has lived and died? Who has gone from your life without kicking the bucket? Who got kicked out? Who did you trust? Did you think God was still there? Is he now?

What’s happened around you? Where has the world gone? What’s changed? Have you?

I have. Or at least, I believe that I have.

firstnightout

I must have since five years ago I’d never seen a naked girl in person. Five years ago I had just written my first short story and an open mic was just a daydream of the future, let alone doing 15 minutes opening for a member of Saturday Night Live.

I had never touched a cigarette aside from hiding or throwing out my mother’s. I never hosted a radio show aside from that one my best friend and I made up in 1st grade on those bus rides home. We would pretend to be callers with names like Seymour Butts and would sing the songs ourselves. We I’m famous, this will be seen as brilliant. As of now, it seems like I should have been medicated as a child.

I couldn’t grow a mustache and had never worn a real kilt. I hadn’t fallen in love with and on St. Patrick’s Day. I hadn’t walked down a Brooklyn street with a freshly broken heart at 5am, Tom Waits singing in my ears and whiskey and beer heavy on my breath.

I couldn’t wait to turn 18. Now I can’t believe I’m going to be 23. In five more years, I’ll probably have a crisis about how close 30 is. In 100 years, I’ll hopefully be dead. You probably will be too. We could be dead in five but I hope that’s less likely.

Four of the past five trips around the sun were the best and last years I had ever spent in school. The last five years I feel I had learned more about myself than in the previous seventeen. That may just be perspective, but from where I’m looking I can see more of those years than anything predating them.

We hope that each year makes us stronger and smarter. And by we, I mean me. And by me, I mean I have seen things in the last split decade that were never anything but fantasy prior. That includes the tragedies, traumas and downfalls just as much as those grand and glorious glimpses at bliss. I want to say that the happy times will last longer than the bad, but those revelations regarding mortality I’ve had will hang around until I’m facing down my own, I’d imagine. Some things can’t be forgotten, even if it would be better to let them go.

For now, I work at the college that I recently graduated from. They had the first new student orientation today and yesterday and as the go-to A/V guy on campus, my participation was forced for the sake of microphones and video presentations. These young men and women are of the same age and generation of a few of the kids I used to teach karate to. To me, I saw mostly young slutty girls and dopey, dipshit young men. I don’t figure they see themselves as such. They never do.

But when I wore the shoes they find themselves in, a young man, all foolish and doe-eyed was far too excited, wore the same skin wrapped around me now. He was starved of fresh experience. He wanted to dive in head first, smiling a shit-eating grin from ear to ear. And he did. Eat shit, that is.

He ended up getting tossed around by the first current that caught him. Dripping wet with saltwater and hints of blood, I discovered how shallow the water can be at times. You know, like a metaphor and junk.

From there I made a monster, who very much like the one made by Dr. Frankenstein, was adored by his creator. The difference is that lots of other folks seemed to like my monster too. He was charming, talented and good looking- and for a time he was unaware of it. Though that didn’t last and the monster was let loose into the world, some part of that doe-eyed young fool could never die.

He still hasn’t. And although he doesn’t make as many decisions as he used to, he still makes many of the important ones. So perhaps, despite all the thoughts and sights of change, the core remains the same. Or similar, at least. I do hope that some minuscule part of who I was as a young man hangs around for all my days. I wouldn’t want to become totally lost.

But what do I know of time and all it’s comings and goings? I couldn’t even tell you everything that happened yesterday, so forget about what will happen tomorrow.

I don’t know man. Happy birthday, or whatever.

highschool

Sunday Morning Thoughts: 6.15.14

Just because I started a blog before most of my college friends, doesn’t mean I’m any kind of better at it. Might be that’s why I’ve retreated so much for so long. That and reddit shat right on top of the last thing I posted. And rightfully so. It was garbage and I, being far too self absorbed, couldn’t even care enough to edit the damn thing.

I’m not conceding the idea I boasted. It’s just that elegance and delivery are key to any and every good argument and I didn’t even bother with those categories. Foolish, I know- since they often mean more than making any kind of sense.

The Haunted Tech Booth

But here I go again, wasting words and tossing out two paragraphs of rubbish that no person comfortable in themselves would ever want to read.

I was taught at some vague and hazy point in my years of education about some upside triangle method for writing. You know, like in the news where they lure you into nothing with a catchy headline and whatnot. My method was, and really still is, shaped much more like a very guilty polygraph test.

But there must have been a reason why I decided to retreat to my home this evening and sit in solitude with beer, saltines and some late-night weekend public radio. Right? But even if there isn’t, here I am and here I will stay until sleep manages to find me. ‘Tis a bummer to confess but once that sleep catches me, the next day that rises will be impossibly fought as this ol’ mind in this here noggin strives to stay in the world of dream instead of being hoisted and propped up in this regular reality of ours. Don’t get me wrong, I love life and particularly my own. I just don’t feel, as a working adult, that I get to spend a lot of my day being myself, or week… or month for that matter.

I suppose the idea that has emerged within the first year of my full-time working life is the desire to leave it all behind and become a hermit of sorts. Mayhaps a sage someday, but that would be a good few years away. Twenty-three year old sages are a rather small population, and no one likes them anyway.

Of course, such a life is not impossible.

The Power Kingdom

The following is a list of all the reasons that becoming a hermit is impossible for me. None of them are good reasons, yet they are good enough to keep most of us humans down our entire lives.

 

I have a job, and, this job pays my bills which allows me to live in my own apartment and pay my own student loans soo… I don’t have to live with my parents as so many of my graduating classmates have had to because my parents’ generation (which is most likely their parents’ generation as well, or one right next to it) made poor economic decisions, or elected politicians who made poor economic decisions, or didn’t do enough to stop everyone for voting for such bad politicians, and therefore, guided us into a debt pickle, and, in order to go become a hermit I would have to leave all that behind and trust that I can live in what remaining wilderness I can find in the world. I’m not blaming them, I’m just saying it has to be their fault.

But.

More importantly, the things that I want to do with my life have very much to do with an audience of friends, acquaintances and most prominently strangers by giving them bits of my creativity in the hope that it will cheer or jeer them enough to help fix the world we’ve got. If I retreat to what most would call nowhere, I lose the chance to make something that someone would want to see, or read, or hear. And due to my peculiar and superfluous egotistical paranoia, I fear that if I don’t try and make a thing, or things to inspire someone else to do the real work in fixing the world, I have failed as who I want to be.

In truth, nothing stands in my way between here and a life in which I detach from the social spectrum and take my survival into my own hands. Nothing but myself and that is really all you need to have in the way to stop you from doing anything. And by you, I mean me, which you will connect to yourself once you read. Get it?

It is too much though, and me and my peers have the grunt of the self inflicted tech addiction. This is most likely due to all those blokes selling cigarettes with medical doctor endorsements not being able to sell cigarettes like that anymore. So we all got hooked on screens and now the self sustaining system keeps us connected in every way but the human one. We hang around because the potential of such grand communications is too great to let go to waste.

So I may not be hermit material quite yet, though I’m not ruling out the possibility. But if there is anything a sage who is still more amused by prank phone calls can offer, it is this.

Delete those damn social media apps from your phone. Most importantly Facebook. I did it and I can tell the difference in how much better I feel each day. It’s not all that much, but I can tell it’s there just the same. You’ll thank me when you find extra minutes for staring at the ceiling instead of flicking through pictures and consolidated and flaccid statements of people you probably don’t care that much about.

You’ll also appreciate people more when you actually get to see them. Go ahead and touch their face. It will be hilarious.

Somewhere near Mink Hallow