Time is marching ever on, and I am left here to wonder if this is all there is. My son is set to finish with the Second Grade in just about one month, and my granddaughter should be born within the week. I have no choice but to end my sabbatical sometime in the very near future, if just to pay the bills, and the adult kids may or may not be moving out. It’s strange: for a man who is terrified of change down to his very core, I seem to be taking all of this with a surprisingly calm demeanor, as if I am squarely centered in the eye of all this chaos, able to witness it unfold with reckless beauty and untold power, yet protected from it due to my sheer, dumb luck of having nestled myself safely ‘gainst its breast. At the end of it all, I will climb out of the wreckage of my life, brush off the dust, and shield my eyes from the summer sun as I move ever onward.
But for everything that’s set to change, it’s also strange how everything seems to be staying in place. I can feel the weight of waiting weighing down upon me, and I just want to know how I’m going to manage to pull off another miracle. I had a small glimmer of hope the other day when my sister-in-law, Valentina, became the first person to support The Cause through the “Donate” button on my page. It’s not enough to keep the dream going at full speed, but it might be enough to keep the dream alive. When I finish this post, I’ll be going through Terracrats with a fine-tooth comb, looking it over a final time before I get it ready for sale on Amazon. And I also need to finish up the first Quarterly Edition of The Vaults of Uncle Walt (which, as I recall, stalled out somewhere toward the month of February). I know that there will be a waiting period before I’ll see any money from either of those, but at least I will be able to say that I’ve made some money doing something which I love.
I will also be starting work on The Novel, which I had been able to put off for the past couple of years, but which seems ready to begin the process of actually existing outside of my mind. Of course, this is still entirely academic. I need to figure out how to pump some cash into my life while I’m waiting for my words to starting pulling their own weight. But I am going to be the Little Writer That Could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. And so on. Every single time in my life when I have had the opportunity to try and make this happen, I have always found a reason to shy away, whether it was a nervous breakdown, or that I was living in the woods behind the local Safeway, or that I simply had to have something to eat that week. I know that I’ve gone about this all wrong, and that I should have been more cautious in my life decisions. Except that when I’m cautious, I never take any chances, which means that I keep shoving the words within me down a little deeper, doing my best to suffocate my hopes and dreams before they break my heart. Almost thirty years I’ve had to get this done, and for all of that time, all of those dreams, I haven’t made it happen. That has got to change.
My greatest obstacle, of course, in none other than myself. Better than any imaginable archenemy, I know exactly how to foil my best laid plans so that they yield only ruination. It’s funny: I was talking to Wildflower as we were walking home (the Minkey and I met her at work and then walked back with her), and she was telling me that sometimes it is hard for her to see that anything is actually wrong inside me. That is, for me, the worst part of mental illness. From the outside, it just looks like someone is lazy, and all they need to get going is a swift kick to the posterior. I mean, if I can still crack a joke or two, and actually get out of bed, then why can’t I bear to face a stranger for a shitty cashier job? Well, let me let you in on a little secret, one which makes me grateful that I am not seeking to impress any members of the opposite sex:
I’m not taking care of myself. Ooh, big surprise, I know. But I’m talking about the basic things: showers, brushing teeth, changing my pair of jeans. Now, it’s not as gross as it might appear, as I do change my underwear, socks, and t-shirts daily. But the background level of apathy is so high, that I just don’t give enough of a crap about myself to actually make any of the most basic bits of care seem worth the time and effort. This isn’t because I am lazy, or that I cannot get out of bed (although that has happened once or twice), it’s just that I do not see the point. It’s difficult to see the sickness which hides behind a carefully constructed façade of jokes and misdirection. I do my best to make people laugh so that they won’t think to judge me for my failings. And I’ve learned to make myself laugh because I know that it’s better than collapsing into a pile of booger-streaming tears. Well, that, and I know that if it’s especially painful, it will make the most amusing anecdote in four or five years, so why not tell it now, and find the humor in it?
I just have to keep reminding myself that I can do this. I just wish that I believed me…
Don’t forget to come back this evening for my long-awaited review of Girlfiend’s E.P., Comrade Isodora Duncan. It will be up at 6 o’clock Pacific.