Saturday, February 28, 2009

Howdy, Stranger!

Sheesh! How long has it been since I've written! Can it be I have run out of opinions? Things to whine about? Innermost secrets to share? No, is the simplest answer. You want thingamabobs? I've got twenty. But who cares, no big deal, I want...less.

Thing is, I've run out of care. I have become an apathetic malaiser, as opposed to a pathetic loser (inside joke).

It's Recession depression. It's February gloom. It's obama-lama-ding-dong. It's all too much. Am I suicidal? In a half-baked way, yes. I absolutely have no worries, no fear, and no opposition to dying, but I also have no plans, no desire and no hope that anything other than a completely natural death is a minute or 50 years from now. I don't get to pick.

Before you start calling toll free numbers to report this, rest assured I am not, not, not going to kill myself or anyone else ever. What I suspect is some of you out there share this feeling of apathy. Let me interject here, with a true story. In my high school year book there is a picture of the Apathy Club. It's a blank, brick wall with a caption of all the names of the members "(not shown)". None of them showed up on picture day. Get it? Apathy? They didn't care enough to show up! The picture would not have made the yearbook unless the Apathy Club had consisted of mostly all the yearbook staff. And at Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon being on the Legend Staff was cooler than being the quarterback. Me? I was on the Tomahawk (newspaper) staff. That's 30 on that.

So here we are, it's picture day in America. Some of us are on the front page, some of us are reading the front page, and some of us have canceled the paper entirely. Most of us are recycling the paper, after reading the classifieds, and praying there isn't another story about multiple births. And I'm wondering how long the newspapers will be in business now that I can read the New York Times from my cell phone...although, why would the New York Times, that is.

Do you feel an artist trying to emerge from your soul? Are you thinking about starting/finishing that novel or screenplay? Are you asking yourself if you could live in one of the states that don't start with CA if it meant you could afford to write and paint and garden by moving there? Are you asking yourself, "I wonder if I could handle the winters in Maine."? "How much work is a Bed and Breakfast, do you suppose?" "Should I write a scone cookbook?" "If I sold my house here and lived in a cottage in Vermont could I live off the interest?"

The reason I am asking these questions is simple. These are questions I am asking myself. And no matter how unique I like to think I am, and how special you-all make me feel, time and time again life has shown me that I am actually the mean, the median, and the mode in the range of life. Maybe this is how I can care so deeply about apathy, joke about suicide, and claim to know what you're thinking when I am perfectly capable of forgetting your name.

Standing here on the center divide of life's highway I can see who is merging on and who is exiting, who is speeding and who is stalled, who is on their way, and who is on their way back. This guy has engine trouble. That guy can't afford a car like that, who does he think he's kidding. She is texting while driving. Ouch, not any more. If I were IN the traffic with you I would see only your tail lights ahead of me, not all of this wonderful flow.

It is this vantage point that grants me a certain luxury, that is, to see what you-all are up to, but also it is my trap. I can't move from here because a) I would surely lose this great spot, and 2) I am not sure where I'd go if I left this great spot.

So maybe it's not so much that I don't care but rather that I don't care to change. And why would I?

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