Quitter Thursday October 20, 2005, 5 comments

At some point in life, everyone comes to the conclusion that society as a whole is a nut job. Usually this comes hot on the heels of some major emotional stress, a breakup, a company going bankrupt, the election of a God fearin’ incompetent President for the second time. Whatever. Eventually everyone gets the idea.

Most people manage to ignore this revelation. “Yes,” they say, “society is freaking mental. But there’s so much good about it.” From this point they go through the twelve step settlement program and manage to live contentedly ever after. That’s not going to work for me.

I try. Oh my god do I try. I try all the time, in this institution. And I pray…

Wait a minute. I don’t pray. Had a little Linda Perry moment there, but I’m back.

What I am trying to get at is that this urge to drop out, just get gone, keeps coming back to me. I am one of those who will never settle. I can’t just ignore the idiocy of a society that is intent on killing itself in the name of big screen televisions and one pound hamburgers. Or nuking people in other countries because we don’t like the way they sell oil.

I’m ready to bail. I’m no neo-hippie so fresh from college that my birkenstocks still have treads on them. I’ve got a family I like, and a job I sometimes like, and friends I usually like, and all sorts of things that should keep me tied down that I don’t like so much.

I’m just tired of the trap. It’s like one of those optical puzzles, once you see it, you can never unsee it. And I’ve seen the trap. The way the ubiquitous “they” make you feel like you’ve got to do just a bit more. A 53-inch television HAS to be better than a 52-incher, right?

But I’ve seen the trap, and lie awake at night hating it.

I’ve seen how people compare their lives to the lives of those on Friends. I’ve seen how wrapped up in Desperate Housewives people can get – so wrapped up that they seem incapable of distinguishing reality from television any more. Nobody can live those television lives, but people try.

I lie awake at night and hate that too.

They think it will make them happy, but all it does is make them feel inadequate. Deep down they know its not the right way. That they know this makes them feel bad. Why can’t they have Rachel’s life? They have the hair, and the killer body and the witty one-liners. They have the strappy shoes and the perfect smile. They have everything she does, so why aren’t they as happy as her?

I’m getting closer and closer to being gone. I can see the trap, but like a non-practicing Catholic, I haven’t been able to completely shake the dogma. I’m not 100% sure yet, but its coming. Living the way I am is wearing me out. Threadbare soul. Moth-eaten spirit.

And I think to myself, I’m going to push off the pier, hoist some canvas over my head, point the bow at the sunrise and say good day to the trap.

Only then can I finally get to sleep.


Daniel Tuesday October 25, 2005

I have to think that this is one particle in an oceanic swell of similar sentiment, which never fully subsides nor fully consumes the ocean itself. I’m on the same swell, moreso than ever before.

Thing is, it’s as illusory as a golden history, as illusory as true moral integrity or any other of our manifold social constructs. Unless you just end it, you can’t but keep going. It’s up to us to just make the best of it, or decide that the best of it isn’t good enough, and take to the door.

...which, well, yeah, it blows, unless you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by sublime attractors that keep you around. There are, it seems, easier-to-discern-but-harder-to-find reasons to stick around, and easier-to-find-but-harder-to-discern reasons to check out. It’s maddening.

Adrian Tuesday October 25, 2005

I’ve already decided to leave. I’ll do it on my time, in my space. I consider myself lucky to be equipped, mentally, to make such a decision. Too many aren’t. Or choose not to be.

Sometimes I wonder, can the trap be made into a game – a game I will play by my terms for as long as I choose, and when I choose, I’ll walk off the court?

That’s my hope now. I’ll live in the trap, for now, but I can see the door, and as long as I never forget where it is, I’ll always be reminded that I’m playing it my way.

Daniel Tuesday October 25, 2005

It might be, as in my case, that there are other competing interests of equal strength, singly or in unison, to this will to leave the trap. I think it’s harder to leave children than parents, so folks with kids who wanna get out have either to consider the logistics of bringing the family, or the potential damage they’d do.

Adrian Tuesday October 25, 2005

Who am I to decide whether my children leave the trap? I have three of them. It’s why I won’t leave right now.

I will point to the trap, and make them aware of it. Teach them that it is not their master.

And that they, too, can leave when they decide to.

Daniel Tuesday October 25, 2005

Point it out, let them go about their business, and when they’re properly weaned and educated (through sufficient pointing and whatnot), you’ve but to move on.

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