The hilarity of opposition tickles me tonight, as I sit and begin to drink type away another Friday night here in this nervous and twitchy City of Wayne.
Creatively, things have never been better. My first book is out in the wild– and doing surprisingly well, considering both the subject matter and the fact that it was written by an emotional toddler, banging away unsupervised on an antique typewriter for the seductive amusement of his fickle and fleeting muse.
But it is out there. And that is something.
The heat rising up from the Smoky Mountains intensifies with every rekindling text message sent and eagerly received. It’s been a hilariously intense reconnection, making it ridiculously difficult to keep those early promises made to not catch feelings. I make her laugh; she makes me smile. And she likes my words. Why would it ever need to be more complicated than that?
But then, through the larger focus of a fragile society’s unsteady lens, the picture grows far more sinister than I think anyone could have ever imagined. Or predicted.
And no, I am not writing anything political tonight. Because everyone is tired of all that shit. It just grinds us all down and divides us unnecessarily, sparking festering grudges and pointless animosities that spill out and stain the delicate fabrics of our many social weaves. Always some fucking escalation; always some new demoralizing headline screamed into our faces, or blinking on to our phones.
And that is no longer interesting. I find it no longer pertinent in the grander schemes of my bolder intentions and I constantly try my best to shout that shit down with any readily available ridiculousness, be it blanket fort built expertly in the living room, or the endless loops of cartoons played in an attempt to drown out the horrid adulting of it all.
Because fuck growing up.
I have honestly not felt this unsettled since those impressionable days of my youth. Days when you somehow instinctively learned to never mention the war in South-East Asia, ever, to anyone. Because our country was divided then, too. And you could never quite so easily tell loyalties. So it was better to just keep your mouth shut, rather than to risk instigating another fractured family. Or friendship. Or relationship.
And that hesitation still lingers and interferes; it taught me not to trust. At least not until allegiances were clearly established and appropriate precautions taken.
That’s one of the many flaws against which I still sometimes struggle. Because despite any outwardly obvious implications, I really am trying to be a better person. And better man, be that writer, artist, lover, or friend.
Because in the midst of a pandemic’s ceaseless grind, and unprecedented civil unrest, why would I want to be anything else? If I am somehow doomed, living out the last sentences of my story unfolding, why would I not want to go out as the best incarnation of myself?
Anything else would be disingenuous and bordering on the cliché. And that is just bad writing.
The world is hurting. Our country is suffering. But all I want to do is dance. And laugh. And celebrate the moment for what it is, rather than for what it could be.
And maybe, if I am lucky, kiss a pretty girl down Tennessee way.