Excuse me but this is my life.
Am I not capable of deciding what I want to do?
Leave me alone and take your ideas of what I should do with you.
Let me erase all those platitudes by which ‘everyone’ should abide.
Geniuses create. There’s a good one. ‘Create.’ You’re cruising down a beautiful path of your choosing and all of a sudden you must create. Drop everything, suspend progress along your chosen trail. Forget its special attributes, its special meaning, its own tumbleweeds. Forget all of that. You have to create now. Get in that new line, earn a living, listen to complete strangers. Play their game. Fuck YOUR path. Play THEIR game. Then confusion sets in. You say ‘to hell with everything’ and go drink, or gamble, or watch TV, or whatever the hell it is you do to get away from it all. But in a couple hours there you are again. Your trail beckons, you try to remember where you were when you left off. The phone rings. Another stranger is on the line with yet a different tangent for you to take. You hang up, go to the bathroom, then return to your life. But now you’re hungry. You vow to return after lunch to an uninterrupted afternoon. Life.
And we think that we know ourselves. Take a pure cherry popsicle and everyday for thirty or forty years pack crap on it. Everyday, more crap. On the top, bottom and sides. More and more crap. All kinds of crap. All forms of crap. All classifications of crap. After thirty years there it sits, a huge pile of crap with a popsicle in the middle and we can’t even remember what flavor it is. But not to worry, soon someone, anyone, will come along and tell us what flavor it should be. And another layer of crap will be applied.
This is your life. Under all that crap is that pure popsicle, you. But you will never get to see it or experience it again. Why? Because shortly someone else will come by and show you their popsicle; fresh, ice-cold, oozing with thirst quenching goodness. And you again decide someone else’s popsicle will suffice for now. But after a week, the lime taste of the new popsicle tastes horrible. What happened? Why can’t I have MY cherry popsicle? You can . . . If you stick with this new program you can have your cherry popsicle for fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon, and that reality is only three months away. Another thicker layer is applied and you consider your popsicle. What flavor is it? Who cares, it is buried so deep you may as well forget it. God, that limey taste is horrible.
Strange circumstances and accidents happen. Another decade goes by and you have lived with the lime taste for so long it’s unpleasantness hasn’t been thought of in years. But another ten years of crap has been applied and surprisingly it looks much like a ball now. And something falls and causes the ball to roll. And it rolls off the table and hits the floor and cracks slightly. You run and get a flashlight to assess the damage. Shining the light into a crevasse you come face to face with You. You’re cherry, not lime green! And you cry as you think about who you THINK you are and realize it is so far removed from what the popsicle is. You realize that through all the years and all the crap, the popsicle hasn’t changed. Pure, vibrant and ready, it looks out at You as a puppy would do on seeing its master after being lost for a long time.
But the phone rings. A friend has heard of the mishap and offers to come over and repair the massive ball. He suggests this new cement and elastic girder belts that will pull the slightly amorphous shape back together and heal the fissure. He’ll do it for half-price, too.
You remember the wedges and sledge hammer down in the basement that would do quite the opposite job.
Cherry, lime. Red, green. Stop, go. The intersection is not new, but infrequently visited. No policeman is directing traffic. No signal light is there. You look down the split in the ball again. It appears like the popsicle is standing on its back two legs and wagging its tail. It tilts its head to one side.
Knock, knock. Your friend is at the door, cement in hand.