40

I turned 40.
I am 40.

This is the distant murmur of summer’s golden honey and nectar, amber-ing.

Staring at this number leaves me incredulous; this old-youth; this oddly wise decade; this, what will be a seemingly interminable reflection of the 39 years that have passed – until 41. Under the watchful eye of time, and yet unbeknownst to my run-away train consciousness, I have arrived here with a fumbled grace. Divine haphazardness and well cultivated intention has set at the most beautiful place, I see this and the abundant gifts yet to be realized.

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Incomplete Combustion

(Writing took a backseat and then it jumped out of the moving vehicle into emails, drafts, and postcards. While rogue, it found itself in the middle of nowhere, without a compass. Somehow we bumped into one another, had an intervention, and now back in familiar space – for now.)

I was kidnapped, really, by my own dereliction. In my crisis was much neglect. Months just up and disappeared while I was doing other things like going postal on my ex over his new girlfriend, dissolving myself in my own lament that life hated me, wrapping myself up in academic writing, obsessing over my latest medical self-diagnosis, coloring my world with travel plans, and opening up myself to the possibility of a relationship.

Many things worked themselves out with less incident than how they emerged, I did little to check in with numero uno. Onward, I went in “this too shall pass” attitude giving the finger to how I actually came out on the other side, lessons that had been learned. I disregarded the details for the forest. But, then, this newfangled, shiny thing came into my life at the last minute. Just about to blow up my online dating profile, one person slipped in almost unnoticed. I was so taken, that I forgot to ask questions, be more conscious and mindful. There were lots of rumblings, chaotic sparks, bellowing and thunderous smoke towards launch – and it almost did, but had as much lift to make a dim thud when it didn’t.

I admit, things were bordered on magical for me, I really liked this person. He was the package. I felt I could not have ordered up a better romantic relationship with long-term written all over it. I thought  I was dialing it in by going slow and being reserved. But, something was amiss, I wasn’t sure if I was being myself or if I could even love this human being. I chalked it up to things being slightly out of relationship sequence with long separations filled by daily correspondence, inconsistent physical intimacy, and needing to get to know one another better, deeply.

However, I never got that chance.

Was it the trip abroad, the lack of vulnerability I demonstrated, the awkwardness I emitted feeling as if I weren’t enough, my shitty complexion at the time, my overall availability relegated to weekends? Speculations a gogo over here. “Thinking of you, missing you” to a cold shoulder that would make Old Man Winter put on a union suit and start a fire.

I didn’t quite get how it went from “fuck yah!” to “meh”. In honesty, there is sorrow and ache in my heart for the time and opportunity I didn’t get, and even more for the things that I didn’t say. I had all the happiness that one would have with bubble wrap, right up to the disappointment of the one that never realized it’s potential, a dud.

Atlas

Desperately, I want to write something – get off this hamster wheel of a routine I’ve cut out for myself recently. I simply just don’t know where to start. I have much locked inside, but lack a vent to express it. Right now, I suppose I can say that I’m annoyed with my living arrangement and how spoiled my house-mate’s dog is; horrified about the socioeconomic/political/cultural, etc. state of the planet; in perpetual lamentation over my limping love life. It would be a goddam treat if it ended there, but I’m engaged in a mental “hand-wringing” about being a good parent; what to do for my kid as the state where we live continues to blow it in every nationwide poll and study, and how not to get entangled with my ex’s woes while maintaining a modicum of compassion. And, somewhere, at the apex of my internal torment, is my obsession for physical and mental well-being as I attempt to balance a career that is taking off…and to get my ukelele to stop staring at me.

I’m feel pinned, struggling to find the elbow room, a release.

 

 

 

Cycling

Spinning it out against the winter, against my stream of consciousness.

I anchor myself in pedals, steady in a stationary saddle before dawn. I am drawn out by blaring music and understated prompts  – raging and railing, trying to obliterate rutted pathways in the mind, in the heart.

Churning out high powered revolutions – this is why I come to the bike. Melding with this modest machine is a meditation for me. The whir of the wheels conveying a subtle message of release as I put  distance between myself and my thoughts. I can’t help but cycle out of my mind.

I think of my own cycles, wanting to defeat them. Sometimes, I can sweat them out one bead at a time, or go hard on the crank burning the last of my toil out. Other times I realize that it will take far more than an hour ride to cycle out of those places where patterns persist.

Drawing a blank

The last post was 4.5 months ago and I feel as if I have nothing to say about the collected  trappings of my day-to-day. Also, I don’t feel that I know that person well enough anymore to say what transpired with any authority. It’s all data points and outlines – nothing but slow, nascent rumblings into the now.

Recounting anything would only amount to an itemized life laundry list. Unrelated things. Abrupt beginnings and endings, and protracted mundane-ity.

What little I can say, is that much of my recent past has been usurped by the catapult of urgency and general intolerance of wasted time. I have willingly traded my olive branches and bridges for hermitage and shunning of most people. I cast off that which made me so palatable to others for shrewdness. My energy is not expendable and the time is not ripe for the lackadaisical whims that envelope and entrench themselves in the collective minds of those around me.

This could be very well be a transient state to something less harsh, but right now, out of the glow of love affairs, travel, and a shrouded reality – comes this need to liquidate.

Right now I feel a rebellion towards the person I was just a 1.5 months ago.

I feel as if I have been recast from a different material.

A blank slate

April Fool’s Day. Indeed.

Why is this just relegated to one day?  I certainly feel like I am fool, or being played like one through out the year.  I catch myself in foolery, but continue towards the cliff as the sun merrily shines brightly at my back…you know, like that idiot in the tarot card? The dog is sounding the alarm of certain death, but there’s no acknowledgement because you are wearing tights and a cheap, flowery tunic, probably singing a Bee Gees song.

What the fuck is a practical joke? The only thing that I might consider practical about a joke, or the joke that is my life, is that of the PRACTICE of me playing into the absurdity around me. “Oh, you’re an asshole? Let me help you to be more comfortable by conceding to you.”, “Well, hello, you don’t have enough electrical impulses in your brain to make a full synapse towards rational thought? Let, me hold your hand and walk you through pulling on one sock at a time.”, or “I know you’re a full grown adult that obviously demonstrates more arrested development than common sense, how can I be at your service towards fully enabling you?” Awww, shit! There’s the cliff with no one to help me because all I have surrounded myself with is other fucktards that are milling about like cats that have just been darted in the neck with tranquilizers.

Hemingway deserves whiskey

Book tucked under my arm.

The solitary bar stool awaits and the bar counter lonely until I embrace it with my own perceived tragedy. I order a whiskey on the rocks, splash of water – only just having had a half bottle of champagne an hour before. I sink in, finding comradery in the words and in the terse sentiments. I feel morose and realize it’s accepted between the pages, I find a friend here.

Though I am surrounded by familiarity, there is no solace gained as I drift through  layers of discontent and waste. These days I’m not sure at which crossroads I stand at. I see no resolve of my emotional failings or of these cycles that perpetuate themselves without my prompting.

My  glass, half empty.

I go on reading, occasionally looking up to make random eye contact with other patrons or to stare out the window. I return to inject myself into the short stories and characters lives as if they were waiting for me to do so, so I could complete myself. A joylessness and resignation of a life seems a good fit for my state of my mind. It doesn’t push me over the edge, just to it.

The ice settles into a thin wisp of watered down alcohol, having already lost it’s amber color in the melt.

Anti-resolutionary

So many of us begin the new year with declarations of restrictions towards self-betterment. Usually, this comes out of self-loathing, which I suppose is as good as any place to start. However, this is typically done while we are bathing our livers in spirits and embarking on scandalous encounters with strangers to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Somehow this arbitrary day after, this clean slate – not unlike those that came before, serves as a way to renew and make good on purifying those sins of the past year.

It all seems counter intuitive from inception to execution.

I gave up resolutions long ago after fighting with the ego and my predilections for breaking character of the new and reformed. The aftermath would oft result in a shabby pity party and ultimately, relinquishing of the intention altogether.

For me, it’s not about instantaneous, external transformations, but an ongoing process beset with failures and successes, about living this life with all its flaws. This is what makes us, this is my motivation; that I get the opportunity to glimpse what doesn’t serve and extricate  patterns and behaviors. My goals are wrapped up in the pending fulfillment that I will eventually learn lessons and omit self-limiting ideas, freeing myself form cycles that mute and dull.

Still

Only my stirring breaks the silence in the house as I walk towards the kitchen. I grab an unwashed wine glass from the counter ignoring the rings of wine staining the glass, the outline of my lips, and fingerprint smudges. Once again, the fragile goblet welcomes a plunging stream of red wine that lashes the sides almost cresting above the rim. I find solace in simple fermentation after eying the dishes looming in the sink and the understated disarray in the house that gnaws at me having had succumbed to procrastination days before.

I fill the sink with water, watching the suds rise and topple over the plates. It’s too quite, I can’t even hear my breath, sense my heartbeat. I must be elsewhere. Music will tune me in.

My thoughts unload themselves with the help of lyrics that unfortunately work into the layers of my subconscious moving at the speed of light. I swipe the soapy sponge over a fork, a plate – I sip from my glass between rinsing as if it were naturally part of the task – I cut my finger with a knife…ignore it. I go on as a tear wells up in my eye from a different, rooted pain.

Dishes done, I sit on the counter curled up, drinking, holding onto the glass as if it’s going to cure what’s inside.