Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.

Monday, October 12, 2009

At a loss for anything else to write about...

It's chilly outside. Not cold, but I've been breaking out the jackets and shoes lately, so summer's over, and we're into fall. Whenever I think of fall, I think of a scene from Hannah and Her Sisters (really): Barbara Hershey standing on a wooden pier, wearing a thick coat. The reason I think about this image is because, in the movie, "time has passed," and what was going on in the first half of the movie is several months past, and things have changed, and events have happened, and the audience is expected to catch up. Barbara Hershey, standing above water on waterlogged pier planks, hugging her coat, conveys perfectly how "time has passed." There's even a helpful wind blowing through her hair, which allows the audience to visualize the progression of time.

I think I associate fall with time-progression because when we get to fall, we're also approaching the event-horizon of my birth. I was born in December. Fall can only lead to one thing, and that's my birthday. Which means I'm older, which means I'm nudging up to death. Another year older--what have I done?

Truth is, I haven't done a lot. I've given money to various political campaigns, I've got opinions, I've been to various entertainments, I've had cultural close encounters, I've visited with friends and family. Nothing no one else hasn't done. Read some books. Gay-married Greg. Acquired a dog. Taken long walks through domesticated parks. Forgotten to do this thing, neglected to do that thing. And leaves are now falling, and the sun goes down a lot earlier.

If you'd asked me 10 years ago what I'd like to say about my life, you'd've gotten a different answer than if you asked me today. 10 years ago, I'd've told you I wanted a best seller, a Pulitzer, an Oscar-winning adaptation, and to be the bane of high school students forced to read my work. Faulkner. Schwartz. Salinger. Hell, Updike. Then me.

Not what I want now. I still want to write, and do write, and will always write, because that's what I do--I write when I can. Like now. This is writing. It's not Writing, but it's writing, small w, and not likely to end up on a 16 year old's reading list--but who knows, since this is the Internet, and who the fuck knows what will become vital and what won't once the Internet generation takes over the hallowed Ivory Tower. Tucker Max might be the next Virginia Woolf. The Onion might be the next Jonathan Swift. Matt Drudge might, god help us, be the next Alexis de Tocqueville. Writing. Who knows what's worth a second look? It's all so arbitrary.

Here's the point: It was a nice summer for me. Not great, but nice. 10 years ago, I didn't think I'd have Greg, and I didn't think I'd be in a position to worry about someone other than myself. 10 years ago, I was a self-contained, self-obsessed dingus with no future. Now, though? 10 years later?

Here, I'll admit this: I've spent worlds enough and time sabotaging my own life. Some people call it "self-destructive" but I like to call it "the painful way to self-discovery." And the painful way to self-discovery is a series of choices, which are usually bad, and are mostly selfish, and leads to a process of elimination where-in it is discovered what is actually important, and what is not. What's important: My relationship with Greg, paying rent, and the things I enjoy. What is not important: Being read by high school kids after my death, because most high school kids can't read. Important: Saying what I want to say. Not important: Saying what I should say in the unlikely event that someone is listening.

This summer was nice. It's gone now, but this summer was a sweet one. Now I'm standing on waterlogged planks, staring out at the ocean, hugging my sweater while the new cold wind nudges against my hair, which I am thrilled I still have. The end of the year is closing in, and my birthday is circling. No one, not even the rain, etc etc. And years have passed since I've seen Hannah and Her Sisters, and Barbara Hershey stepping out onto that pier, but I still remember the visual:

Bleak day. The camera lingers on the absence as the water laps at the wood of the pier. Desolation. In steps LEE [played by Barbara Hershey], wearing warm boots and a coat. She looks off into the distance, where there is nothing, and feels the slightly biting hint-of-winter wind nibbling at her. Soundtrack: Concerto For Two Violins & Orchestra, Bach. Voice-over:


1 comment:

Matt Osborne said...

Getting old sucks. This blog doesn't.

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