Portal Project: Mid-life Crisis Chronicles


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I still have to book the ticket this weekend to my h.s. reunion, hope it hasn’t gone up astronomically so I can really feel buyer’s remorse. Conflicted, ambivalent, don’t care, weirded out, thinking about speeches, as I always do, oratory preparation has never frightened me. No, now it’s more like having to actually answer tedious questions and react (politely and appropriately) to irritating comments. 

It’s been thirty years, a lot has happened, I don’t know who you think you thought I was but it’s probably nowhere near what I actually have become.

It’s actually more of who I really was the whole time, but had to hide, for reasons that I don’t need to get into but things that I forgot all about while I was blocking it out during those years of learning and trying to understand why I never had a date to any kind of dance. Better just to hide in that case, but it all comes up again like a little bubbling vat of oil or indigestion, just like the first time (but for less time and with less intensity, but the feeling of loneliness or rejection never actually varies, just its’ impact on our psyche, behavior, mood and subsequent actions).

Who I suppose I think I am bears little obvious resemblance to the image presented in a view camera.

Photographers use view cameras to control focus and convergence of parallel lines.

But that is neither here nor there right now when I suppose I should go to sleep, a la the song by Jack White. My actual resistance has more to do with a Keith Richard’s philosophy of staying up because there is so much to create. Sleep away your life. 

I may actually be more of who I always was but you’d never know that. I still try to have few regrets (back then, it was ‘none,’ well some things you just can’t admit wanting to ever repeat, so I’d call that akin to a regret of some kind).

It certainly hasn’t turned out even close to what I imagined — but then again, I’m not sure I really imagined any true details in those ‘when I grow up’ fantasies (which now seem more like hallucinations). It changed, most certainly. Some career aspirations throughout the years: gas station attendant at the Mobil station (I wanted to use a squeegee); driving a school bus (in 5th grade riding the bus to school); a CEO sometime in 7th or 8th grade, with suit and stockings as part of the plan; teacher/professor; public policy/political broker of some kind. Then the shit hit the fan for at least the second probably the third if you count the earlier disasters that were waiting to ruin things much later, by the time you have established yourself–that good old demon from way back when you were a tiny tot is right there to destroy the world as you know it, in one fell swoop.

But, you see, I know you don’t want to hear that. It’s almost incomprehensible to go from this place where the land is so much a part of the person to having no place to go, a walking dead for a little while just trying to stay afloat until you can ‘get back on your feet’ which means very different things at different points of desperation, chronic mistreatment and actual bodily harm. It’s too nuts. Why didn’t you call me? You will think and maybe even say, but you won’t really mean it. None of us really mean it. We’re too exhausted by our own daily work-home routines, our disappointments and replacement addictions. We’re distracted by all the distractions or nestled happily in the excuse of so much to do, family nest, the very hard work of continually one-upping yourself.

So there’s a version that gets reviewed, evaluated and commented on as soon as you leave the room in some cases. But that matters less and less the more I don’t sleep and think of all the things I could be creating right now but can’t really think about that in a productive manner so I circle back to this idea of my script for what could be a very awkward, inconvenient, regret-filled excursion. I will be thinking of the planet ticket, the food, the lodging and transportation — in relation to doing the usual ‘less than had planned/hoped for’ generally slacker-inspired existence picked up years ago. Somehow sleeping in at all is like a vacation to San Juan. Not getting cartoons is the trade-off. Not living on that land that was part of who I thought I was is probably the weirdest thing of all, and I dream about Goochland on regular basis, so how’s that.

Yeah, yea, great to see you so what have you been up to? What do you do again? Oh that must be exciting! Do you have kids? Are you a loser or a success? Wow (in my case, whichever way we go, it will be a shocker), that’s surprising! It must be exciting to meet Famous actors and celebrity wannabes! Do you have kids? Oh that’s too bad. Fuck. I don’t know if I can take this. I have to come up with a card I had out and say I have lost my voice. Or at least my ability to speak for myself, especially when it comes to having to explain myself to you.

It’s the seemingly innocent, partially passive-aggressive or just plain stupid comments or questions that I dread because I may not be that halo girl (who kept her mouth shut unless she had something nice to say) you remember. If I feel that you are being an ass to me in any way, I will let you know. Back then, I was so fucked up by the events of my hidden childhood that I just suffered in silence. Put your head down. Then at some point, I formulated a strategy and made myself happy. It was always in waves, that’s life.

Would I feel better if I had two kids, a house in the Hollywood Hills, successful series and all the trimmings on my Thanksgiving turkey? Yes. Am I embarrassed? No. Not really. Have I done some really stupid things? Yes. But they were experiences that I want to make use of in this next round of creative aspiration. You don’t need to know about that but think The Player about to be a big shot or some such finally getting a fucking break wing and a prayer. But do I want to discuss them? Not really. Maybe with a psychiatrist who can prescribe the right antidote once he hears the whole story.

For now, it’s all the things that went wrong especially in this L.A. portion of things. It’d be easy to get all Bukowski on the subject. Then there’s the inevitable paradise-envy which I also don’t want to address for more than a nano-second–yes, it was an amazing experience to live in Hawaii for ten years in my 20s. It was also extremely expensive and I had to have 4 jobs to get by after getting a degree at one of the best schools in the country.

Plus, I got this crazy notion that saving the world wasn’t really going to make me happy, as a career direction. Social services were generally run and operated by a miserable lot who weren’t anything like what I wanted to be sitting in the old sugar cane infirmary now-my-USDA-form-filling-out office. So I went for it, I decided I would pursue a way to have a creative career.

And here I am.

(Relatively) unapologetic. Always in need of grace and understanding. Trying to keep a clean intent and a honest heart.

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2 thoughts on “Portal Project: Mid-life Crisis Chronicles

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  1. Don’t change a “thing” … Ok, sorry, I had to. :/
    What about, “For now, it’s what went ( it’s what’s going ) wrong during the L.A. part of my continuum.” ?? I dunno. I really am not the feedback loop you want because I love it the way it is. And why not go ahead and get all Bukowski on us? Huh!
    Although you’re exposed , you’re brutally honest. The line about the loss of Goochland breaks my heart.
    Are you going? If you do, will you give me a full report?

    Like

    1. Yes, thank you. My grammar gets very loosey goosey in direct proportion to my inspiration.
      Secondly, don’t fret, this is behind me and I am using it in my arsenal of art supplies. I always have it in the back of my mind though and so it’s just stronger if it comes out, but also very exposed, making one vulnerable, if you will.
      More importantly, thank you for reading. It’s a journal entry basically but the notebooks aren’t scattered all the places I used to know!
      booking ticket today, hoping it goes well.
      oh and this is part of the bigger projects about women who are having some kind of age-related crisis (the late 30s sitcom is fucking brilliant if I do say so myself I just need a writer coz I am too busy, can basically pull off quips and one liners and character arcs but sit down and write? not that) and the just-come-up-with-scheme of how can I make money doing something less brutal? Writing, sitting on one’s ass but could be in a cabin with battery power, if need be. So that book (my Harry Potter) is akin to 50 shades of grey, mommy porn. Sells. I am good at writing it we just found out! Who knew?!

      Like

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