Mancala

I saw this band open for They Might Be Giants last August. It was one of those rare cases where the opening act was good enough that you did more than just politely tolerate them while waiting for the main act. It’s difficult to describe Moon Hooch, so if you’re curious, just go ahead and listen. I promise that you have never heard anything quite like it.

This past week has been kind of rough. I’ve been dealing with the usual shit: anxieties and the like. I’m finally reaching the point where I might have enough energy after my shifts at the coffee shop that I could conceivably go to another job afterwards. So maybe the time is finally right to at least try a little harder in my search for a second job. My momentum is kind of stop-start these days. I’m probably more productive than I was six months ago, but still, I’m tired. I have this annoying habit of waking up an hour or two before I’m supposed to and lying around feeling anxious until then. When you have to get up at 5 am to go to work and went to bed early just to give yourself enough time to sleep, that’s a problem. There is too much shit that I need to do, and I need time to sort it all out. I don’t have the energy to fit it all into one day, one week, one month, or one year. But I can’t expect the world to stand still while I figure it all out.

The funny thing about aging is that you can feel old at any age. I knew one guy who complained of being old when he was a senior in high school, and I think he was only half-joking. When you’re nearing graduation and looking around at all of the other folks who seem bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, it’s tempting to turn to them and say, “It all goes by so fast!” I’m so glad I’ve never done that. For one thing, it doesn’t go by that fast. If your life moves so quickly that you feel like you’re a decade older every time you blink, you’re doing something wrong. I believe that I can keep this up, more or less, for a very long time. As Neil Gaiman showed in Sandman, you don’t get tired of living when you live forever, you just go on doing it. In that sense, life is indefinite (God, I’m deep).

I think part of the problem here is how easy it is to look at other people and see only the more, shall we say, performative aspects of their existence. Basically, I have no use for people who act like their only purpose in life is to help others get to where they are. They may not consciously tell themselves that they have all the answers, but it’s obvious that they took the sentiment in that Biblical passage about putting away “childish things” a bit too literally. It’s not that you turn over a new leaf when you reach adulthood, just that you realize that all of the shit that plagued you as a child isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe I’m tempting fate, but it’s been my experience that the shit that I spend all of my time worrying about almost never comes to pass. It’s more likely to be the stuff that I passed over just because “nobody could be that shitty”. Inevitably, someone is.

A friend of mine has an interesting hobby. She likes to go on the Fox News website and argue with the bigots. She’s about as diplomatic as you can imagine, but even then, she got banned. All she really does is ask the assholes to explain themselves. (“How is allowing a transgender person to use the restroom of their choice the same as child molestation?” That sort of thing.) Usually, they dismiss her (“It’s so obvious, I’m amazed you can’t see it”), then, when pressed, they start shouting incoherently and accusing her of child molestation. It is a revealing look inside the mind of a bigot. These people cannot separate sex from sexuality. They cannot comprehend the possibility that there is more to the Bible and the Constitution than giving people an excuse to condemn anyone with whom they disagree. It’s poisonous, toxic thinking, but seductive, I suppose. I won’t let go of this issue. It’s too important. You will learn to treat other people with respect or you get left behind. It’s that simple.

mancalaI keep thinking that I should get back into playing computer games. I wrote a post a year or two ago about why I stopped that became one of my most popular (see the “Get to Know Me” sidebar). As soon as I can find the time, I think I’ll start up again. I bought Skyrim last October and downloaded Braid when I noticed that it was available for only $2 on Steam. Games are fun, I guess, and since I was obsessed with them as a child, perhaps playing them will be a good way to get a handle on what the fuck is going on with me now. I know that there’s no finish line, life is about the journey, not the destination, blah blah blah yada yada yada but I still can’t shake the notion that I’m missing something here. Maybe there is something cathartic about having a minor breakdown, but I’m telling you, I kind of wish I could start figuring out what’s going on before it comes to that. I have only so much to give, and sometimes it feels like the world is not willing to meet me halfway. I guess it just wants to make me earn it.

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