(Warning: This post contains a major spoiler for the show Lost)
I'm a subscriber to the idea that the chapters of our lives are carried upon the backs of gigantic continental plates. Every now and then something happens that causes these slabs of experience to move forward in an incredibly violent manner. When they do, the entire landscape has changed and cannot be put back to normal. The puzzle pieces of a life scatter.
In the immediate days that follow, we live off the adrenaline of change, fueled by the imagination of what is possible. Fantasy logic kicks in and the mind travels via flights of fancy.
The body, however, begins to feel a pit in the stomach because nothing is quite where it is supposed to be.
On Friday, I suddenly left my job at Court Square Tavern and find myself adrift in a new world. For everyone but my former regulars, nothing has changed. Yet, for me everything now seems slightly less certain.
At times this mystery is invigorating as life unfolds like a novel, a play, a film. At others, the script isn't so clear.
A week ago, I thought my life truly was going to unfold upon the stage in the basement of 500 Court Square. The past year has been an intricate opera of the hopes and dreams of my co-workers and friends and myself. My second stint there began last January, shortly after the disintegration of my marriage, another sudden change that caught be my surprise.
In the fires of that furious time, I created a new vision for myself and regenerated into someone a bit stronger, hopefully a bit wiser. I forged a new body by pouring all of my frustrations and anger into my muscles. I worked hard to sort out right and wrong in my mind.
I am hopeful that a new sudden change will cause a shift in the way my personal geology continues to be deposited upon the greater world.
I would also be preoccupied enough so I stop looking back at the previous one. The old fractures, at least, are now covered by a new film of experience that's solidified into memory.
The last time I stopped working at Court Square Tavern, I cried because the place was damaged and needed to be repaired. But, I was also concerned about how I was going to make up the income. At the time, I was a freelancer, and it made up about a third to a half of my money. Of course, at the time I was in a family with two adults and did not own my house.On the Ides of March 2006, I was in shock and somewhat distraught over the hit to my bottom line.
Four years ago, the same worries. Back then, I just redoubled my efforts to freelance, and I had a pretty good year.
What can I learn from then? What can I learn about all the times when life turned due to a rogue moment, when I come loose from the painting I'm currently drawn within?
This time, I'm in a bit better shape, even though I have a lot more obligations and I'm on my own. For the past five days, I've been living as if nothing has changed. But, as that first night approaches when I don't go to work, the reality is beginning to set in. Payments are becoming due, and I'm going to have to get creative.
So, tonight was the first night I've considered going back to work in a restaurant because that is the quickest way to make money. Part of the reason I left was because I was being handed many more responsibilities and I just didn't have the mental time to deal with it, and handle my primary job.
It may be odd to talk so publicly about one's economic fortunes, but I write this all out, and write all of it out because I form my own thoughts about myself by writing. Writing is the act of chiseling out experience into something that explains who I was at this moment, in this time.
At this time, I'm buoyed by the knowledge that I did this before. Progress continued to be made.
At this time, my story intersects with those of every person on this planet on some level. I believe in progress, and in attempting to better the lives of as many people as possible. But, I can't do that unless my own is functioning in tip-top shape.
Sudden change seems to have opened up a time in my life when things are active again, when the day-to-day choices I make in the next few weeks will determine a good part of how my future occurs. How will I choose to use this extra time? Do I decide to immediately rejoin the food service work force, and if so, how do I make the best decision for me and my children?
I was locked up in that tavern. I told customers it was my purgatory, and joked that I seemed to end up there after every divorce.
And I may have been right.
The television show Lost ends by revealing that part of the narrative in the final season actually took place in a purgatory of sorts, and the characters had to wake up in order to progress to the next stage of their existence.
Taken as a metaphor, that sounds about right.
I don't want to publicly write the details of what happened, as I'm still sorting that out and really don't want to give away the story before it's finished.
I know one thing I want do to in this new epoch is to find a way to take my propensity for memoir and fictionalize it, in any manner. I've never taken any of my creative pursuits seriously. I've never taken myself seriously as an artist.
Now, I have time. But, for how long? How long until I find myself hardening again, joining whatever landscape evolves as the rapid change continues to wreak havoc on what once was? New stages will emerge, new people I otherwise would not have met. Opportunities that I will either decide to take or will shy away from, or will decide are not in my best interest.
This blog contains thoughts a lot about my time there, and I'm glad to read through it. I know I'm not going back, because to do so would go against everything I believe in about how people should treat each other.
It's going to be a very good story, however it comes out.
So, onward, continental drift! What will the world bring me this time?