The days are too short, the nights too long. I drink too much and eat too little. I sleep long and poorly. I told myself I would cut back the smoking, yet I am surrounded by half smoked stubs and the stench of failed new years resolutions. The TV blurs in the background, I don’t hear it. Its not loud enough. Not loud enough to mute the tornado of my thoughts. I reach for another drink. Its not loud enough either, but it numbs, makes truths false. I’m just scared. I’m too tired. Too lost. There are too many paths open ahead of me, too few signposts. They sulk like serpents into the dark undergrowth, snarl with unseen fangs, coil with bated force. Coils, twists and turns, will I emerge from darkness further down the path or back where I started? I can’t know. I am frozen in place. Drinking, smoking, sleeping. Stagnant. One eye on the future, the other on the past. Both are blind.
We were happy weren’t we? We spent too long together not to be, we spent too long together to be. Too young. I needed more, so I believed. Don’t we all? Small town love is no love at all, I needed big city love, names in lights, Hollywood blockbuster kind of love. Fireworks, starry skied, fuck all night kind of love. I talked too much. We talked too little. I let go of you so easily, I can’t find the strength to let go of us. I reach for another drink.
Will I achieve greatness? Probably not. Does it matter? I hope not. I stand on the subway platform. Two serpents coil into darkness, behind me and ahead. Its claustrophobic and lonely, so many bodies in one space too small, 6 am. We travel to work, to offices, desks, numbers and spreadsheets, disappointment and melancholy, we travel nowhere. I stand on the platform, its muted and sweaty, 6pm. We travel home, to apartment blocks, Ikea furniture and subdued conversation, dull and extra ordinary, we travel nowhere. Where are the astronauts? The popstars, cowboys and world beaters? I see only accountants, recruiters and teachers.
It should have been different for us. We were promised otherwise. We were the special ones, the chosen ones, we were the gatekeepers. Our teachers told us we could be whatever we wanted to be if only we worked hard enough. Our parents told us we could be whatever we wanted to be if only we wanted it enough. We told ourselves we could be whatever we wanted to be if only we could grow up fast enough. Its a vicious cycle. All too soon we’re telling our ow students, our own children they can be whatever they want to be, if only. If only. I reach for another drink.
I swim out into the sea, the white light guiding the way. I swim for days, the way is dark, but the light bids me forward. I swim for years, I’m too tired, too lost, the white light is still so far away. I reach a pier. Its nice, comforting, dry. Do I build my house upon this rocking solidity, or do I continue to swim toward the white light? I reach for another drink.