Above the bricks with music warbling

This is not the place I should be, but it's the place that I am at the moment. I can hear loud dance music coming from a bar about 400 feet away from my sonic 4:30 in relationship to the screen I am currently seeing. I am not usually here at my desk this late, but there are reasons why I am still located here and not at my home. 

One reason is not the music. I am not sure why this establishment feels the need to blast this elevator music at the top of its woofers and tweeters, but that's their policy even though if I look back over my right shoulder I won't see a single person dancing and I only see two or three patrons from my vantage point.

The structure that I am talking about has been home to many places, and anyone with sleuthing skills could find an audio piece I did on the role that place has played in my life as connected to who I am and how long I have been here, at my desk, living a life that isn't entirely typical. 

I decorated the front of my desk with new artwork created by my American son and nothing else matters to me except he feels comfortable to express himself and that I am here to help him become whatever he wants to become.

There are gaps between what I thought I wanted and what I have, and I'm increasingly of the mind that what I have is something amazing. I am living a life I always wanted and that is something many people don't seem to have. I am doing what I wanted to do when I was 20 years old even though that person maybe should have studied harder and figured out something different. But me-in-the-now feels pretty good about the way this is at the moment. I have only to look above my screen to see fives pieces of art from my American son interspersed with photographs of my English son and then I think about how amazing it was that they got to see each other this year for a brief moment. 

My entire year was made by that moment, and a line from my favorite Superchunk song comes to mine. "One minute could last me a whole year" and even though I didn't pen that line it resonates me so strongly. My life, and everyone's life, is a series of moments that when taken together become who we are. I want so much to try to articulate my world view that it's important to understand how every single piece fits together and that we are so much more than what we're being sold, what we buy, what we're told to do. Inside each and everyone of us is a powerful engine that should be honed to question, critique, argue, debate. 

I spend too much time here, and there are reasons for that. I am not ashamed that I work so much and not ashamed that I have decided that my work pursuits outweigh my own attempts to find a new relationship. I know who I am, and I know what's important to me. I have gotten to that point by sitting at this desk for over seven years. 

Which way will this turn of events go? I am not certain. I just lay out the weather one mental cloud at a time. 


In a room of strangers

Despite all I do, I still feel so anonymous and unwelcome in the place I have lived for nearly 15 years. There's a certain notion I have that I will always be an outsider in this community, always a stranger. This could be that I am a writer, which means my entire reason for existing is to capture the moments in front of me in a way that makes sense to me, while also realizing this is not a time where words have much weight with most people. Words strung together have no worth unless there's a way to create value. And what is the economic value of a mind trying to calm itself down through ordering thoughts in a linear fashion?

Yet, that's the trick. I am capable of breathing deeply and launching into a trance that allows me to stitch together whatever it is I'm feeling into a narrative that adds worth to my soul, a reason for my existence. I get paid for this ability, and I survive in part because I'm capable of capturing my thoughts and fashioning them into parachutes that can help me journey through the tumultuous atmosphere towards steady and stable ground. 

All of us humans in this 21st century, whatever that means, are struggling with meaning and purpose. But maybe I extrapolate. As I type this I am in a room of happy people who are laughing and cheering and smiling and none of them seem to be doing poorly. A block and a half away is a community that may or may not be transforming into a mixed-income neighborhood. On television, a man whose home was vandalized with racial slurs plays basketball on a large stage. I'm struck by how absurd most of our society is and how strange it is to feel so isolated despite the murmurs and susurrations all around me that indicate there is so much health in the space where I am. 

In a few short minutes I will depart and will walk home and walk back into my life after having worked another 12 hour day, having done my part to move things along. I am proud of the way I walk and proud that I have not shirked my obligations. I wish I could do so much more, wish I could find a way to get some sense that any of this matters. I know intellectually that it does, but I'm also the one typing string after string of words in a crowded bar, anonymous and free despite being neither of those things. All of this is random, and all of this is true. 

Writing is a curse. I feel compelled to say something, but there are so many times when there's nothing to say. There's just the need to push that rock up that hill and hope that the inevitable roll downwards scores a lot of points. I have absolutely no ability to know anymore if I'm being effective or if I'm turning into a robot, a ghost, a specter, a dream that only I am having.