I do not live in a shitty apartment in Paris or New York. I’m not reclining in a park or museum in anticipation of the muse banging on my mind-door, begging me to relieve her of epiphanies.
I have a job. I pay the fucking bills.
I haven’t contracted eldest-child syndrome but I’m no longer wild and lost either. I still worship at the altar of Sartre and Morrison. They are my lovers still, but not the blade that I live or die on.
An unexpected bridge links liberty to devastation.
I’m uncertain when this break-up occurred. There is neither trinket nor memento to analyze for clues. I have no memory of this rupture.
There are benefits to adulthood but shouldn’t an alarm have sounded; how was I not obligated to sign some sort of permission form? Jesus, you can’t even download porn without being asked to agree to something.
I can maximize this new paradigm or I can fall to my knees in protest, tossing stability aside in an orgasmic bid for art and anarchy.
But shit, just the thought of anarchy makes me tired. I am decidedly growing old.
I have, much to my surprise, become one of those people who goes to work regularly, who can go to work at will when such a decision need be made. And an affirmative decision has been made—looking over my paperwork it seems I have been affirming it for years now.
Yeah, I left home for good at sixteen but I didn’t have a cat or a window valance then. I’m not entirely certain I had a window some days.
I survived without bed sheets boasting a thread count and closet organizers deconstructed by Ikea. That must be where the damn catalogue came from, what with its mismatched matching dishes and lure of Scandinavian minimalism.
Shit, I’m in deep.
I’m in danger of losing it all for a 9-5 gig and a case of beer on the weekends. (This likely isn’t true if I know anything about myself but I’m going to indulge one of my biggest fears for a couple of hundred words, if you please.)
I am no longer going mad over writing or art. Or from unbalanced chemicals misfiring in my brain. Age has softened such single-minded obsessiveness and I’ve mastered the art of taking the edge off the imbalances that remain.
I have forgone my alliance with the die-hards; I am the at-risk now, and I have the day job to prove it. I fear that I could go either way, that I’m passing through a danger zone—continue to embrace writing or embrace—with deep regret and self-hatred—the nuances of somebody else’s dream.
I guess I’ll take the third option then, whatever that turns out to be.
And what of the professionally lost, the chronically on hold? Am I obligated to be one or the other instead of a functioning hybrid of pragmatism and art?
Can my creative license be revoked because I’m both book-keeper and creator?
Can I be responsible whilst writing to the pulse of my impulses and passions or am I in danger of writing like most people fuck—dutifully, mechanically, fearfully, and always with the hunger for more, always with the piercing stab of malabsorption burrowing into my belly and writ large through the fear of inadequacy?
I cannot live with fear and self-consciousness gnawing themselves into permanent disappointment, the terror of perceived flaws reducing pleasure and pain to a dull throb that is duteously scratched without any thought to the why of it all.
Do I still write because I must or because habit dictates that that is how things are done?
That last one is unlikely. Last night I was trapped in a public bathroom photographing notes written on my body in eyeliner because I lacked paper and a pen. I was too drunk for Evernote but sober enough to remember that when the muse wants to dance you stop everything and motherfucking dance.
And I was happy. I was exactly where I wanted to be, minus the stench of urine and the damp toilet paper prettying up the ugly stall.
Maybe in-between days are just that—just one more iteration of ‘how bad do you want it?’ One more confirmation of a direction that need be taken. Life just keeps holding shit up for me to try on, to step into, to see if I maybe like it better than writing.
And the answer is no. It’s always been no.
Doubt is the mistress that won’t stop calling after you spend a night between her thighs. Never mind how fast you run when her heels come clicking down the hallway after you, never mind how many times your eyes skip over hers.
But fuck her; she could never run that fast anyway and she’s slowing down with age. Hers or mine I cannot decipher…
I’ve survived the mayhem and madness of youth and now I’m denying the temptation to give it all up to become 100% something instead of a hybrid balanced between two seemingly opposite worlds.
Besides, I can only be tempted so much before a resonate disinclination rages through my being, a one syllable, two letter word screamed into the darkness that thrusts a pen into my hand and my heart onto the page.
Amen to that my beautiful wondercunts. For that alone I could not be more grateful.