Little Money & Zero Fame

Just now it took me three sincere tries to write the correct date. I got the month and the year correct but twice flubbed on the specific date.

What this says about my circumstances, I do not know or care to analyze. I am hardly bothered by low-level lapses. After all, I did have the month and year right. But when I find myself standing in the middle of the living room, alone, en route somewhere instantly and completely forgotten, then the pauses are both pregnant and awkward. But I can laugh this shit off now because it's still novel.

People thought I was OCD-fucking-crazy to develop a system of Memory Devices years ago. My memory devices are varying clues about things I hope to remember; more hints than directives. Things to help me remember things about stuff, often levels deep and intentionally opaque.

Again, no indictment or lamentation. I feel that my faculties and physicality are tip-top. For the most part I feel inseparable from my invincible, world-dominating 21-year-old self. I have adjusted to new normals before and I'm sure, up to a threshold, I will adjust to new normals again. Isn't life, after all, just a series of new normals?

I am 45 now. I am a college-educated middle-aged American male of intellect, opinion, wit, and insight. Given my potential, and by the Great American Story script, I should be driving a leased Lexus and wearing a smartly tailored charcoal gray suit. My watch should weigh at least a full pound and my home should be "architecturally significant." Personal grooming and "cardio" should be meaningful obsessions. I should be planning some boring ass retirement.

Instead I wear torn denim, argyle socks, police boots, and a hoodie with a screen printed Internet comic character over my heart. My phone displays the time which renders the wristwatch redundant. I refuse to live any longer than is necessary. I floss and eat salads because I want to.

I don't know if I've rejected any type of dominant paradigm more than I really never bought into any. I've been pragmatic for so long I have a hard time understanding people's weepy sentimentality, naive optimism, or tendency to accept mythology over substance. Maybe this is just how it is. No fate, no luck, no divine interventions. Just effort. Or, maybe I've always been wrong. It doesn't matter.

I remain interested in most things. Fascinated by lots. Obsessed by some. When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist or a psychologist. I am pretty much both of these things now. I make things, create stuff, and forever do battle with the gnawing monster that is the creative impulse. Artistic satisfaction is a short-lived, ever-discounted, guilty pleasure best enjoyed alone and in silence.

I am fairly certain I baffle if not fully aggravate the hell out of most people given all the quirks, eccentricities, and compulsions. Often my real self feels like it was created as a carefully planned, well-scripted character (a character with certain humbling deficiencies). A self-puppeteered puppet. Often I try too hard to not try and sometimes I care too much about not caring. Often the magic is in the misdirection and sometimes there never was any magic.

Yet, and fortunately, there is a certain handful of close people who totally see the sleight of hand and close-up magic for what it is. Two or three people who also see through the knots and who offer careful observation and analysis in the middlespaces and on the mountain tops.

While my existence lacks money or fame or any tangible success indicators made important by people with fame and a lot of money, I am wholly who I always planned to be.

By the way, today is the eighth day of February, 2011. See?