I Am Decided {or} Sorry This Isn't Funny

There's been this feeling coming over me today. It's been a sort of frustrating day. The kind of day you want to karate chop in the Adam's apple, kick around violently and throw down the stairs while screaming something very inappropriate about its mother. One of those kinds of days. But wrapped around this crappiness has been this feeling like time itself has gotten all ribboned up, like hard candy looped repeatedly back on itself or like in that Death Cab song when he says he wishes the world "was flat like the old days/When I travel just by folding a map." The feeling that time has crested pervades.

Lately I've caught myself waxing nostalgic for Vegas where I grew up and New York City where I served my mission and Idaho where I attended college and tennager-hood and the newness of the past; like the first time I heard Bee Thousand and I thought I'd go crazy now that I knew music like this existed and was worried that I'd never be able to find more like it, all wild and twisting and jugular. It's sort of exhilarating, this reflection on the past, like the feeling you get when you hear the Modern Lovers talk about driving around late at night with the radio on and its sad and exuberant at the same time. It's beautiful because it's dying or already dead and you know it will never happen again, no matter how hard you will it to. Maybe because it never happened like you remember it happening in the first place. Time makes us all liars.

I'm getting older. My daughter's starting preschool. Stephen Malkmus of Pavement is 42 years old. Nevermind came out almost two decades ago. Fables Of the Reconstruction was released six years before that. Behind me, fading off into the horizon wave friends, memories, good books, mistakes, heartbreaks, triumphs and laughs. Those things are gone, lost to wherever we discard the past when it's outlived its usefulness. And that's sad. It's sad when things end. But everything does. Here on this earth, entropy is the law and, like gravity, it cannot be broken by you or I. It takes a force greater than that to bend or revoke those laws. I guess I forget this sometimes. I'm too nostalgic, too maudlin to remember that "now" is transient and that facing forward is not only important, it's essential. Just ask Lot's wife. Too much is missed when you're facing the wrong direction, too much opportunity for collision when you're not watching the road ahead of you.

I've had this feeling, and maybe it's just stress compounded with lack of sleep, but I've felt like I can glimpse life spread out before me, a little peek into what lies ahead, if only for a few more miles' worth of road. I'm reminded of when I drove out here from Idaho and I wound lazily through Indiana, coming around corners and up hills and having the road laid out before and below me like a roller coaster or something. And as I crest the top of this hill I know that that stuff that makes life worth living: the friends, experiences, memories, struggles and successes are not only behind me, but before me as well; that these things are not just the province of the past. In fact, those things in my past have been there to prepare me for the things to come, whose scale and intensity increase as I get closer to my destination.

And that's exciting. Terrifying, but exciting.

And I just had these thoughts and felt like I should share them, for whatever they're worth. Thanks for reading.


Patti said...

"Just ask Lot's wife" was funny. Which means even when you're not trying to be funny, you are.

I liked this post.

chanel said...

I hear ya.

but saide says you're having 5 more kids, seems to me there is a LOT of good times in your future.
Its all good.

stress and sleep depo seems a very likely culprit!

chanel said...

but, i forgot to add, you are a VERY good writer! very good..and yes funny. oh so funny. sorry your pain is so funny. im not mocking you.

chanel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chrishaley said...

Man, you said it.

b3n said...

The most awesome part about being at "the bottom" or feeling this way is that there's nowhere to go but up.

Here's a little story: There's a student of life and a master, and the student is at his all-time low, he's got himself in a rut and he's feeling down.

The master asks him "So where is the bottom?"

The student knows he shouldn't answer so he waits patiently for the wisdom of his master.

After a time, the master says "It's when you stop digging."

Sometimes holes are dug for us, sometimes we dig our own holes. The point of realization is usually when things start to turn around.

You're on the right track.