While one thought pattern tries to wrap itself around putting servos in the joints of at least one arm of a single-purpose robot waving hello to passing strangers like a street [panto]mime dressed as a trash can automaton…
Hmm…another thought pattern asks me “if the universe is here only to entertain me, why do I walk away from the next adventure?”
Yesterday, as I do everyday, I adopted a role, picked out my costume for the day, and acted the part of a happy-go-lucky grownup boy.
I really should avoid situations that start with “but,” but…
As happened back in 1985, when a fellow student in my CAD class at Walters State Community College, the wonderfully half-Cherokee Sarah, sleek of form and gentle of wit, bestirred the animal in me with an unending voracious sexual appetite, drove me to pull her into my arms, overcoming my subcultural/childhood training to remain a virgin until married, becoming lovers not only with her but also with her best friend, literally pushing me to the brink of madness, watching myself split into two — the loyal, brave, reverent and morally straight Boy Scout; the sex-starved college student — never able to get back my innocence physically…
Why again do I uphold a subculture that often makes no sense?
Yesterday, I was happy to enjoy the day for what it presented to me.
I could be an entity-in-a-box, like a TV character staying in character interacting with characters outside-the-box looking in at me but not actually making real contact.
Do I even understand for myself how lonely that makes me feel?
Do I care so little for myself that I would walk through a day as if I’m no more alive than the robot I’m building and programming?
Every moment I’m out there with people — with you, most of all — I look for a sign, a signal, an indication that there is an escape from this godly conformist hell that defines my life, which promises AND delivers me from evil, providing security from danger and [YAWN!] a repetitious ennui of getting up, seeing the world as if I’m not part of it, and going into my dreams which promise and deliver adventures full of danger, nightmares, happy moments of temporary bliss and back into the possibility of dying in my sleep while doing something fun.
And I find many signs because I am so desperate to find a similar person out there looking for the same.
Yes, it’s there again, I know.
When I’m desperate, any sign will do.
I’ll imagine a random stranger I meet can read my thoughts or has read this blog or purchased my books online and knows just what I’m thinking and wishing.
I can hardly imagine that my being my physical self — a decent-looking fellow with a nice personality — would in itself make people wish I could read their thoughts and know just what they’re thinking and wishing.
Yet (or but) is that all there is to life?
Are the conversations I’m having with you simply two people wishing for a “meeting of the minds,” willing to suspend our independence and disbelief to say that two people can think as one?
When I sat there bouncing in the auditorium chair, listening to you perform, watching you remember to remind yourself to smile even in the midst of a forlorn song while you strummed a guitar, I saw a future of just the two of us sitting in a cafe, sharing stories, listening as you amazed me with tales of feeling disconnected from reality that I have felt, wondering why the life of a road warrior can make you wish for a moment like this, having three weeks off to explore life with just one person — me.
It was an intriguing moment because a song or two later you sang “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight” and made me wish you knew I had been writing a story with a steampunk Amelia Earhart as a main character.
But you is a universal term that in English can be singular or plural.
What about the other “you” that is an amalgam of the other, the not-me?
We are what we are.
You are a dear, sweet gal, recent recipient of the Female Vocalist of the Year, who grew up around here, even if you weren’t born here but how many people in north Alabama were born here?
Was it enough to have bumped into you in the concert hall lobby, me playing the role of the fan fortunate enough to get your autograph on a CD (I don’t know why but holding up a prop is an actor’s favourite pose, I suppose)?
Do we know each other?
Why did I look familiar to you?
Well, we were Facebook friends for a while but I don’t expect a performer on the road is going to take time to check out her friends’ Facebook posts, even if the joker in me made a humorous video of a dancing cicada to the tune of one of your songs, poking fun at one of your band members, Mark Schatz, who danced on a rock formation.
Last night, an adventure called my name but I was too numb from a day of feeling disconnected while looking for signs that were there all along but I was so used to not expecting them I forgot to pay attention when they showed up and planted themselves against my face.
In reality, I had one desire in my thoughts and I wasn’t expecting that side of me to approach you and play the dating game in front of my wife.
Not even a light session of fun flirting.
My voracious appetite consumed me and I didn’t want to say something stupid.
As Abi told me the first day I met her, it’s not always about what’s in my pants.
When my pants are doing the thinking, it’s best to nod and walk away, pretending an autograph was all I wanted.
Some days, being a guy is fun. Other days, it’s tough being a beast of burden locked in a box of self-exile, my animal tendencies kept in check, my blood pressure boiling.
How many signs did I see yesterday? How many signs did I miss? How many signs weren’t there to begin with?
I stand up from this notebook PC, beat my chest like a silverback gorilla and roar!
What I want my childhood subcultural training can’t give me — the denial of the value of monogamy in a childless life!!!!
I walk away from this PC and tell myself the concert you gave, the songs you sang, were for me, while honouring the special needs people in our lives. It will have to suffice for today.