Sunday, March 21, 2010

midlife crisis

I spent the past four days sick in bed, streaming Spanish movies. Only I am too cheap to pay for them, so I would stream a movie for the alotted 74 minutes, and then I would have to wait an hour to finish the movie. Good thing I had nothing else to do.

I wasn't actually that sick, just a bad cold. But sometimes I look for an excuse to lay up and be worthless. Then last night I went and baby-sat my friends' three-week-old baby. I met him the day he was born, and hung out with him a week later, both times of which his eyes were mostly closed. Now they are open, and I cannot imagine what he is seeing--shapes, light. He has no emotions or thought, just perception. He hicupped for about an hour, like, eh. Every time I put him down he would start to make these fussy noises, so I picked him up and danced with him for a while. We listened to Patti Smith and Wilco and David Byrne and Mark Farina and I think he liked it. Then we sat down and I talked to him for a long time about what I wondered his life was going to be like, after being born in Argentina to two very chill parents who are fixing to take him and their dog off to Paris in a few months and then...where? The where seems to matter less and less these days. These are some of my best friends here and we are all the same, just ricocheting around, stopping just long enough to fall in love, eat a steak, squeeze out a kid.

I know I am turning 30 next week. I felt a midlife crisis coming on when I looked into the eyes of that baby, because I kept thinking this one sad thought to myself: I hope you can do better than I did. 'Did'--in the past tense, like my life is fucking over or something. And I am not big on regret, but hey, there it was. I blame it on this cold.

When they came back I walked over to the bar where my friend was DJing. I danced for an hour before I began feeling incredibly sick and tired, so I took the bus home. I thought of the baby, the dog, the music, the cute boys, and the enormous quantity of snot in my head that seemed to be blocking both my air passages and my optimism. And I let myself wonder again what the fuck I am doing here, and I began to get a little despondent. I still have a ticket back in a few weeks, a ticket back--to what? I planned on changing it. I think that being sick makes you want to be at home. But this is a word that has largely lost its meaning--home. Home is where my computer is, pretty much. And for now, that is here. I also said that I wasn't going "home" until I finished this novel that seemed close to completion when I got here, but is now looking like the ultimate fail. What do you do when your plans seem to be failing? Do you keep going, or do you move on? It was like this with Ex. I could have stayed, but I left. I don't regret it, but sometimes I think that was the beginning of the end of all faith I had in commitment to people, to plans.

Obviously, life is complicated and whether to keep going or to drop it depends on a lot of things--how much you want something, how much the game has changed since you started playing it, and what resources are available to you. This is the problem. Instead of actually doing anything, I am just thinking about it all the time. God, it's hard to be this fucking lazy.

1 comment:

Papagayo said...

you'll finish the novel. you want to do it! it's not a fail and neither are you. but i get like that too. we're the same age as britney spears: and in some ways, she's accomplished a lot more than you or i have, but would you want to trade places with her? i wouldn't. through whose eyes are you judging yourself? are they really yours? (btw, you might not be into this, but Dolly Parton says it's only God who can judge). I love you!