Saturday, September 24, 2005

Come On Down

Our lives will not flash before our eyes.
It’s now or never baby.
It’s put whatever you can in your coffee; you got no cream; you go creamless.

Our lives will not flash, there are no second chances, no curtain calls.
You don’t get to go out smiling, a million friends around you waving, successful, perfect, concluded, finally weighing 125lbs.

Everything you said you wanted, there’s nothing there. I’m not saying don’t dream, I’m just saying don’t wait, don’t long for it, don’t hold out for it.

That balloon you’re clutching, that little string in your hands, the way you’re staring up at the sky looking for answers, look again. It’s just you down here.

The way you play that little game about three months to live and what you would do, everything you’ve kept out of reach for so long, waited for, how you’d eat fresh shrimp with limes everyday for lunch, or how you’d actually order an ice cream cone for yourself when you take your kids out, or eat more burritos, or have the courage to wear a short kilt with military boots like your friend Jane, or dye your hair festival red, or give yourself a couple of days off, or get on a plane to Italy with your husband because he’s never been there.

When you get honest, when you swing that door wide, the truth is maybe you should do those things and maybe you shouldn’t. Who cares? They’re not actually going to change you or help you or heal you. Whether you do those things or not doesn't matter.

That maybe it’s more about wanting and waiting that keeps you suspended, keeps us tolerating our perfectly average lives, the way things really are; how we look in the morning; the lines around our eyes, the grey coming in, how the house gets trashed and the messes pile up; the dishes, the clothes, the bills needing to be paid, another magazine saying no, the friend who doesn’t return a call.

And longing and wanting and all of those dreams you have are just a way to keep you reaching, looking away, high on helium,

And so I was thinking if I really did have three months to live maybe I wouldn’t go anywhere because there’s no where to go. How actually perfectly fine I am to live at the end of this dead end street in this ramshackle house with a family of mice below and a coven of possums above. And sure I could eat with more freedom and my kids would really get a thrill if I did order an ice cream cone in their presence, and I would like to wear that short kilt with the boots.

But who cares? Wanting and waiting is just a way to keep myself floating, but in my heart, really, I just want to come down.


Marilyn said...

I love this post. I wouldn't mind coming down myself...if I could land gently...instead of zipping violently all over the place as I let the helium leak out...

Kathleen said...

this makes me think of how different i feel when i go on vacation. my daily rituals are broken and i am forced to be more aware of the environment, getting out there and seeing everything i can..museums, shows, restaurants. (why don't i do this more at home?)
or vacationing in the mountains and just not caring about anything else except my cup of coffee, my book and a few vigorous hikes each day.
or, shaking up what is familiar and taking on the schedule and rituals of our host while we are there.
then i get home and everything seems so different. like "how did i live like this before?"
but slowly, inevitably, i slide back into the same routine.

and i long to go back.
move there, even!

it is a nice high to dream.

as always...your writing is so inspirational.

art said...

Very powerful post. moving

dweezila said...

i just re-read this. so lovely. sure have missed you on the page.... xo DT

MB said...

Mm, mm, mm! So... real.

Anonymous said...


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Wishing you the best.

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Anonymous said...

I don't like reading your blog, but I keep coming back. You're so honest it hurts. Its an honesty that "brings you down". You scare me awake, and what I wake up to ain't pretty but it's there. So.

Although the personal circumstances in these pages don't mirror mine, the existential sense of it does.

Kathryn said...

and I miss your posts. hurry back.