The blanket crashes over my head like a wave at the beach, engulfing my world in darkness that matches my mood. It's not that I mind being solitary, knowing as I do that the presence of loved ones and others dampens my productivity, but that rationalizing the advantages of being alone does nothing to improve my feelings about this empty house and the ringing in my ears that threatens to drown out the mating calls from hundreds of horny birds right outside my open window.
The forest breeze rustles the hairs on my head, stroking my melancholy. Soon I am supposed to depart the loving embrace of my cedar cabin, bound for distant lands of cosmopolitan hustle and bustle. A plateau teeming with energy and life, but also pollution and never-ending noise. To say that I am excited about the transition would be to claim that the tree is excited about its leaves changing colors in the fall. For there is beauty in change and for certain there will come a time that l delight in the novel sensations that are part and parcel of a new season, but there is also the certainty about deep and persistent sadness that comes from the departure of summer and all of its frolicking good times.
I wish I could reach my arms out far enough to give my old friends a big hug, and then not let go, but rather bring them in, shrinking them more and more until finally I'm able to compress them into my heart and take them with me wherever the winds of change take me. It would be a never ending mobile party in my chest, thumping along to the four on the floor rhythm that never ends, the rolling bass line of my emotions, the piano riff that can always be summoned when I need a lift to my spirits, the riotous laughter and silly dances, the hands coming together, and the searing cry of the diva when my achievements are most anthemic.
And still it wouldn't be enough, would it? Change is painful because it represents growth, and growth implies aging, and aging implies death. Present is never present enough! Go away past! Ease my yearning for the distemper of my twenties and thirties. Stop me from fading back into the dark depths of back streets where writhing bodies moved as one. Is it still out there for real, not just in the rapidly deteriorating memories of those denizens of the night, but rather out there in the real world? It's not like I don't see the pictures streaming across the screen of my phone, instants documented for the benefit of those of us stuck with the drudgery of adult responsibility, weighing, sucking upon our desire for hedonistic abandon. I go out. I taste it. The taste is dull, not like before. I am compelled to put in the earplugs, a fitting metaphor. To save my ears, I tell myself, so that I can make music. Then I go back home and get to work making, not music, but money. Wealth, for what, since I hardly know what to do with it.
What is the point of this sacrifice? Who is the audience? Is this what they came to see? I suppose I could reject the intrinsic demand for normality, once again grow my hair out, ink my skin, stretch these holes in my ear lobes, throw caution to the wind. Get my freak on, if you will. After all, I have already established myself within the sphere of perpetuation, the intersection of intellect and commerce, the avenues of adulation. Abandoning the norms of the usual expectations put upon purveyors of my particular profession could only enhance my appeal to those that are coveting my rung on the social ranking. How can he get away with it, they ask, wondering about their own capacity for surprise and reinvention. Pondering their fates were they to build up the bravery to, as I have done so many times, tell their bosses to kiss their asses, fantasizing about rebelling against the demands for compliance and kissing of rings under penalty of injurious meetings with representatives from human resources. I could have that life, they fantasize, the excitement raising a coffee-tinged sweat on their brow, all the while not realizing that there is not a that to be had, that in fact all that that is is all fact-less, contemporary post-modernity, surfing on the desire for a return to a simpler time of reckless abandonment, damning the consequences, flooding the senses with serotonin overload, the overflow of empathic embarrassments forever wearing down their fractal path of destruction rolling over the hills of my ego, smoothing it down over the centuries, exposing striations of childhood bruises, chases, consequences and slapped faces, hanging upside down from the chain link fence, crying out for help, laughing and stumbling down the stairs running away from the pain of knowing that it is all going away too soon.