Man, have I been in a weird place lately. I’ve spent the entirety of 2013 sick, what a mind-trip (never mind that it’s only been seventeen days, who asked you?). Being sick for weeks at a time, pretty much since Christmas, definitely plays tricks on your head. I’ve been like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, modern film’s answer to Conrad’s maniacal anti-hero. Last night I wrote this really heavy post about mortality, meaning in life and not wasting away precious hours slaving at a job you hate to be part of the rat race, or as I like to call it, the treadmill of capitalistic despair. I’m not even joking, I had pictures of Hamlet holding Yorick’s skull all ready to go.
Juuuust as I was about to post it, some tiny internal nudge prompted me to take a break and do some therapeutic yoga. This isn’t a sweat-inducing workout – mind you, I’m still hacking like a chain smoker – but more like stretching that alleviates some of the excruciating pain in my back, which accrues from sitting in front of a computer screen for ten hours a day like a caged chicken. When I came back refreshed, ready to finish it up, *POOF*, the Internet was gone. I called it a day, shelved my doom and gloom for the remainder of the evening and watched Portlandia with Mike, which really just makes everything better.
Today, I’m at the local coffee shop, enjoying some tea and free Wi-Fi (the hacking has subsided to harbor-seal-levels tonight), and I can see that by putting a bullet in the internet, the universe spared me from posting something that would seriously have bummed everyone out, including me. See, a classmate of mine from high school died this week at thirty years of age. He had cancer. I hardly knew him, but I could pull memories of him from the aging dust pile that is my working brain.
But pondering his death, coupled with weeks of feeling like complete and utter crap just put me in a morose frame of mind. Whatever poured from my soul into the keyboard was brought on by sorrow over this life lost so young, and panic over life’s brevity and my inability to dive in fully, as I so desire. You know, imagine my usual anti-establishment rants and frustration over the state of the American quality of life, except this was the high-octane version. No one wants to read my saturnine outpourings.
I’ve successfully pulled myself from this funk for now, and am sitting on this rather comfy chair, listening to the canned jazz piano and overhearing the other patrons quietly chatting over lattes, trying to pretend that this sort of coughing volume is completely normal and is not whooping-cough. Just that I have the energy and means to be here, writing again, fills me with gratitude. Not everyone takes a chance at an unconventional life, and I feel terribly brave and alive.
Plus, I’m not in a Vietnamese jungle or holding someone else’s skull. So that’s always a bonus.
– – –