I’m a fuck up. Around 10 years ago or so I fucked up and it sent me down a path that currently sees me living in a one-bedroom apartment with my mother, sleeping on the couch. Or at least I will be sleeping on it once it gets here, if it gets here, as it was supposed to today but the entire U-haul computer network went down at the precise time the movers arrived to pick up our stuff to deliver it here. Problems are all relative and simply having enough food to eat and a warm place to sleep are enough, or at least should be, but that doesn’t detract from the fact I’m a fuck up.
But then again, we’re all fuck ups. Or, at least, we’ve all fucked up.
And that’s grand, that unites us. (I was once convinced with every fiber of my being that it was pee that united us all, that that was the tie that binds, but certain other forces were involved in leading to that epic conclusion. Hell, maybe I was right, what do I know?)
Regardless, I know everything is fine and will be fine and I’m fortunate, but we all need to vent and I don’t feel I have anyone I can vent to so I turn to the great ether that is the internet to toss this down a hole that maybe, someday, will be found and laughed at or that I will turn away from, embarrassed for having written it, trying to remember why I would do such a thing, or maybe words will become meaningless by that point and we will forget communication entirely as our TV screens become large enough they crush us all.
I’m rereading The Catcher in the Rye and quickly learning that my thinking hasn’t changed all that much since I was 15. That was the last time I read the novel and at that time it meant a great deal to me and I greatly identified with the lost and disconnected Holden, and now at 33 I feel just as much, if not more, of a connection. But now it’s depressing as he is a teenager and my previous identification with him came at a time when I was also told there was “plenty of time” to decided what to do with my life, that there was “no rush” and that everyone “just has to find the right path,” while now I am getting toward the middle 30s with nothing to show for myself, friends married or succeeding in their careers and/or respective fields, having children, all while I still can’t take care of myself and don’t understand how anyone can.
When I was in high school I was obsessed with Dawson’s Creek and had a huge crush on Katie Holmes, or rather her character of Joey Potter. And so, in those pre-Internet days I wrote her a letter. It was very heartfelt and I was convinced that she would write me back. When it became clear that she wasn’t going to, I kept writing, using it as an outlet, someone to tell everything to without fear, and I told her as such in the letters. Eventually I got a 5 x 7 back with a photocopied signature, with no note of any sort, and I decided that was a good sign to stop, that I might be treading into creepy territory. (It must be weird to receive letters from people who are convinced they know you because they know your character on a TV show. I can’t imagine. I was a very lonely kid, sorry Katie.)
Anyway, what was the point of this? To vomit everything onto a page I suppose. Hemingway thought it was disgusting when Fitzgerald wrote out the very personal essays that would constitute The Crack Up, his breakdown and all. Sorry Hemingway, I have a tattoo of your first novel, but you would probably find me an awful excuse for a man. So it goes.
There’s a grey cat in a cat bed near me, curled up into his favorite blanket, the one my father had with him in the hospice while his body was overtaken with cancer and he could barely open his eyes or do much of anything except disappear and die and I miss him but at least my cat loves the blanket and it keeps him warm and my father worked very hard to give us nice things and a house and keep us warm and take us on vacation and feed us well and send me to a good college and I threw most of that away and am 33 and making minimum wage, at least I was at my last job before leaving Alabama, where I lived two years, where I never wanted to live a day, let alone 600+ of them. But now I’m unemployed so not even making minimum wage and all our stuff is trapped in the U-Haul warehouse because their computers crash and we’re all so tied to these damn things that we can’t do anything without them, for better or worse (mostly worse) and I shouldn’t be living in this time period, yes, you could pick a better century out of a hat, couldn’t you? But at least Linus ends up with Audrey Hepburn in the end and class still exists in black and white but didn’t survive into the color era. But oh well, what did?
So another day winds down with no prospects and the fact that I fucked up beyond the normal fuck up 10 or so years ago continues to haunt me today because it was then that I decided other people were right, that I should settle because things could never live up to how I wanted them to be, even though it was shown to me that things can in fact not only live up to but actually eclipse everything you could ever want and imagine and dream of and send you down blind alleys happily because you know someone like her exists in real life, not just in some grand character in your childish head where love is all and means everything but in these three dimensions and maybe even some others that we can’t see. Yet, I agreed to settle. No names need be mentioned because it wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own. I followed into suburban limbo, of never-ending consumerism, of 9-5 we’re-not-married-but-we-might-as-well-be-bullshit willingly because I thought I had no other option. But I had many. Many, many options and I can’t seem to get back to a place where anything feels connected and possible anymore. But at least I made it into a real city, (well, nearby at least, that part didn’t quite work out as planned either but what can you do) with real people who are real sizes and of understandable speech and desires and the ability to see further then the end of their street and say hey, I’m alive but I won’t be for long, I’d better get off my ass and do something instead of just talking about it because soon enough I and everyone I’ve ever met is going to be dead and despite what anyone says, absolutely no one knows what happens after that.
But perhaps 1,200 words are enough self-indulgence for tonight. My belly continues to be full of fries and diet soda, and I did collapse on the sidewalk the other day (completely sober) but maybe there are possibilities, maybe there is someone who can live up to that ideal again, maybe I will one day write something that someone will deem worthy of taking a chance on and putting into print. Who knows? Such is the beauty of another day, I hope we all can see one ahead.