I’m not dead. I’m still here.
I haven’t written anything down in a long time, and I’m not quite sure why I’m writing this now, but bear with me while I try to suss that out…
Six months tomorrow since I left Santa Fe. It wasn’t so much about leaving the town physically that time. It was more the end of something that had started when I decided to leave the first time. The culmination of nearly 10 years of becoming someone. The end of a cycle.
It was a “small death,” as they say. But I’m still here. I’m not quite sure if I’m reassuring or mocking myself, but it keeps coming up.
In a way, it was an escape. But the thing I was escaping began as an escape, too. So in the bigger sense, it was perhaps a rejection of escapism, in my own familiar escapist brand. Like after running for so long, I could perhaps finally lose myself if I suddenly stood very still. Like if I stopped doing what I expected myself to do – if I doubled back, under an assumed alias, and laid low long enough – eventually, I might never be able to find me again. I might disappear completely.
But I’m still here. It’s been six months since I ripped off the band-aid, and tried to stop doing. Stop saying things. Fade away and try something different.
But, as is so often the case, and to some extent expected, something different is very much the same. While the differences are obvious, between the goals of my twenties and the goals of my thirties – in regards to the person I want to be and the world I want to live in – to the point of seeming unrelated and perhaps mutually exclusive, the fundamental bedrock of the two ideals, and the pattern through which they manifest decisions are one and the same. The person I wanted to be a decade ago is as far removed from who I was then, as the person I now want to be is from where I presently find myself. And the process of getting here had more to do with redefining the way I saw things than any change in who I actually was. It’s only looking back now that I realize I became exactly who I was aiming to become, and the only reason it doesn’t feel like anything has changed is because I got here being me the whole time.
And so, as I look at the road before me, and the glimmer of where I’m aiming, far off, on another plane of reality, in a world that perhaps doesn’t or can’t even exist, I can’t help but smirk and shake my head at myself. I tried taking the wrong fork for the right reasons. I tried taking the right fork for the wrong reasons. I tried sitting in the middle of the road for a while, counting grasshoppers. It wasn’t very comfortable, and the sun is very bright, and it keeps coming up every day, despite my constant protests. So there’s really only one solution left. That glimmer will keep on glimmering, whether I walk toward it or not, and the only chance of changing that is to see what the view is like from further down the road.
It’s October in Washington, and the air has a particular texture in your lungs. It feels like New Mexico in August, not in any specific comparative sense, except that both embody the essence of their location completely. And that’s the best explanation I have for it, god dammit. It really feels like this is where and when you are, and there’s nowhere else at any other time that feels like that. And there’s something to be said for feeling thusly.
The Presidential Election is in a month, and, with any luck, the end of the world is not far behind that. But until the sirens start going off, I suppose there’s no sense in languishing in the illusion that I’m anywhere other than here, in this world, with all of you twisted motherfuckers. A much wiser fella than myself once said, “The Dude abides… I take comfort in that. Knowing he’s out there, takin’ ‘er easy for the rest of us sinners.” Well, I, for one, am still alive. Take comfort in that if you wish. I hate it here. And I hate all of you. Let’s see what kind of trouble we can get into in the time we have left.