Anticipation

isle of the deadI spend way too much of my time thinking about death. Technically, everybody dies, but if you’re like me, you spend most of your time trying to straighten out your issues so that you can live, then realize that by the time that happens, you’ll be dead. So I guess you have to live in the meantime, or something. I am trying to master that Buddhist idea of mindfulness, of being aware of things without letting it get to you. I just hate it when people say, “Cherish every moment. It all goes by so fast.” No, it doesn’t. My memory is a jumble these days. I can’t distinguish between two years ago, two weeks and two decades. So I’m trying to get it straightened out. Because nothing is more annoying than meeting somebody and knowing instantly how your relationship with them will proceed. It’s nice to have surprises. Most of the ones I get are of the unpleasant variety, and I’m hoping that changes eventually.

I had a minor realization as I was making drinks recently. It’s hard to put into words. It wasn’t so much that I decided that I would have to move on eventually as that I figured out that I was almost ready to take on a little more. I’m not just talking about a second job, nor am I talking about getting my own place. I’m not graduating from anywhere, so as far as I’m concerned, I can keep doing this shit for as long as I like. Most of my jobs so far have ended either when I was fired, the summer ended and I had to go back to school, or my term as a student employee ended. For once, I might be able to end things on my own terms. But that shouldn’t be for a while now. We have a pretty high turnover rate where I work, and being a better barista no longer feels like the only thing I’m working towards.

I think the reason I like the It Gets Better campaign so much is that it doesn’t pretend that everything will be wonderful once you come out. Too many of the movies I watch on Netflix have that message. I watched an awful one called Geography Club a few months back that, like so others, was about a bland everyman protagonist who realized that being gay doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. Of course it’s not that big of a deal, that’s why you made a whole fucking movie about it. The one moment of truth came late in the film, when his closeted jock boyfriend says, “I don’t want to be gay. I want to be normal.” I think everyone can relate to that. Even if you’re not gay, you have surely had to deal with the feeling that you don’t fit in. Why the movie was not about the jock instead of the boring everyman, I have no idea. I watched another one just now called Edge of Seventeen that was actually decent. It didn’t sand the edges off of the experience the way so many others do, but still gave us a cypher of a protagonist who, instead of coming out so he can be with his boyfriend, basically comes out so he can have lots of sex. I wish like hell the movie had been about Lea Delaria and her queeny old friends instead. Those guys must have stories to tell.

I hate it when people say that the anticipation of something is more fun than the thing itself. If you’re a little kid who is too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve, maybe. But there is a truth that runs parallel to that with which I wholeheartedly agree: that having something to look forward to is a great motivator. Some might say it’s the best. It doesn’t have to be something really exciting, like a wedding or holding your first child. It can be something simpler, like a social gathering, a date, or even a job interview (provided that you actually want the job). I haven’t been to the movies in a while. I used to go more frequently. I’m thinking of seeing How to Train Your Dragon 2 because I like animation and I like dragons. For whatever reason, none of the big blockbusters that have come out in the past month or so have really drawn me, although I hear Edge of Tomorrow is much better than the ads made it look.

There has never been a point in my life at which I was absolutely pumped to start the day each morning. That’s why I rail so hard against the mythologizing of childhood. People talk about how happy and carefree they were. It seems to me that they are looking at the whole thing through rose-tinted glasses. I keep moving forward because all I have is the blind hope that whatever I’m working towards is better than this. I have to keep moving. People I went to high school with are getting married and having kids. I know it’s stupid to compare yourself to other people, but seriously, when do I get to conquer the world?

I find that my interests are getting more and more specific and nuanced. I keep wondering if I should take up role-playing games again, either tabletop or on the computer. When I was a child, my entire day revolved around computer games, usually either RTS or RPG. I miss those days, but only a little. I would spend the entire morning playing games, then go do other shit for the rest of the day because even I could see that you couldn’t do this all the time. If I’m out to recreate that experience now, it’s only to figure out what to do after I’m done playing games for the day. Because nobody can live a fantasy all the time. Even if you escape, you can’t live that escape more than once.

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