Tuesday, November 29

Nth Degree

Sometimes I think I thrive on it.
It's been this way as long as I can remember. Putting things off until the last second, letting notes hang in the air before going to the chorus. I sometimes suspect that I actually like it better when I'm painted into a corner with my back against the wall.

I think maybe it has something to do with ego. Something in the fact that when you're down to the wire, 4th and 10, right on the edge -- it takes more than just a normal effort to get things done. I'm starting to think that I actually get excited by the prospect of being in "do or die" situations because they require me to summon up something extra. To find creative solutions. To think on my feet and react to the changes while they're happening.

The more I examine these situations that keep coming back and back and back into my life where I've only got so many days to get something done, or I'm just about out of time to fill the requirements, or I've got to pull an all-nighter to get it all in before the buzzer -- the more I start thinking that I've started to assign some misguided sense of heroism to getting things done against impossible odds.

I mean - any clod can show up early and get things done ahead of schedule. But everyone knows that it takes serious footwork to pull rabbits out of hats time and time again.
The only problem is that it's not
working like it used to anymore.
Too many times lately it seems like I'm coming close, but not quite getting there. It's like there are too many hats. Too many rabbits. You grab at their ears only to have them bite you on the finger. You pull them into the air only to see that the curtain's already closed. The audience has already gone home. They've seen you do this one before -- and whether you're ready to admit it or not, they're getting tired of it.
More and more I'm waking up on the couch to the sound of the remote control falling out of my fingers and hitting the floor. More and more I'm finding my to-do lists only half crossed out.

More and more all the rabbits I've pulled in the past are starting to leave pellets on the floor behind them, and people are looking at me to clean it all up.
I live on this.
I thrive on this.

..I'm gonna die from this.
[Listening to: Mudvayne, "Fall Into Sleep"]

Wednesday, November 2

Open Letter to a Landlord

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just couldn't sleep at all? A night where you just sit there, lie there, wait there, hope there, but can't find the darkness to slip inside of no matter how much you know you need it?

Last night had no grand designs. No big strategies. Just cook a big meal, veg out, maybe watch some hoops or grade some papers or whatever - but more than anything I just wanted to catch some rest and relax. The mind will wander (as it always does) but otherwise it's just hanging out in your own sanctuary, listening to the cars race by outside, and the train whistles off in the distance. The television plays, but it's not really seen or accepted. More like a flashing light that keeps the air company.

There's a sleeping cat. A phonecall. A message in the dark. Possibilities as lightning bugs, floating around luminescent and then skittering away. A moments magic enjoyed for what you see in it, but not felt as a loss when it goes. There's chips and salsa. There's Harrison Ford not quite cutting a Russian accent, there's Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra making fun of bumbling Nazi's in one of those old WWII-POW-camps-are-comedy-goldmines films. Somebody's playing old episodes of Alien Nation at three in the morning. (oh man, I used to love that show!) And wait -- here's an old rerun of Saturday Night Live with Mel Gibson, John Lovitz, and ...Living Colour?!

So many things on my mind. Diversions, redirections, old truths and new. Feelings familiar and yet unsure. Places traveled and yet unknown. People are angry. People are sad. Wondering if I've missed something. Wondering if there was anything there to miss, or if I'm missed at all. The thoughts float above, sift, and then sink. They come and they go. They light and then darken. Guilt or innocence. Freedom or weightlessness. It's everything I wish to understand, and yet far too much for me to handle on my own right here at this moment.

So instead I watch Lucky dance for Pozzo. I discuss the Bishop Berkely. I watch the documentary about Guadacanal, the movie about the submarine, and the comedy skit about Rain Man making baseball picks for Pete Rose. By waiting for something, Dear Estragon -- I find myself able to avoid the weight of nothing
At least until the alarm goes off
[Listening to: The Faces, "Stay With Me"]

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