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coffee, dreams and ice cream sandwiches

January 20, 2011

I’m at yet another crossroads in my life. Everything has changed. I’ve lost my job. I’ve lost my direction in life. I’ve lost my confidence in myself. I have so many new choices to make, and I’m so afraid of making the wrong ones, that most days I just sit and stare at the computer screen, hoping, waiting. For what, I don’t know—something, anything: a sign, a vision, a kick in the ass.

In some ways it’s exciting. I’m free to choose a new path. A new job, perhaps. Or maybe an extended stay at monastery; it’s been so long since I’ve done that. I could visit my friends and family back in Michigan. And there’s always Santa Cruz. I still know people there. But then there are practical matters that have to be considered as well. Time sensitive things like taxes, doctor’s appointments, other things that I can’t quite bring myself to think about right now. Same old, same old, I guess.

I think I like to procrastinate, putting off decisions and stressful situations until the very last moment, when I’m finally forced to deal with them. I hate being forced to make decisions. I hate having time limits. Tick, tick, tick, BUZZ! I also don’t handle stress very well. It gives me stomach problems. I can already feel the tightness. And I haven’t been sleeping well, either. Maybe it’s depression. Who knows?

Guess what I had for breakfast today: an ice cream sandwich, and it was delicious. That’s been the best part of my day so far. It’s not important. It doesn’t have any particular significance. It was just nice. How I cherish the simplicity of ‘nice.’ The older I get, the harder it seems for me to simply enjoy something for what it is, to ignore the incessant chatter in my mind. “How are you going to pay your bills?” “What if the doctor says you need surgery?” “If you don’t visit now, you may not get another chance for a long time.” “That ice cream will go straight to your hips.” It never shuts up.

All this time has given me nothing but time to think. Think, think, think. Thinking too much is bad for you, I’ve decided. I’ve single-handedly thought myself into a lonely despair. I think the world is conspiring against me, even my friends and family. I have proof, you know. It’s right here, all in my head, swimming with caffeine.

I want another cup of coffee, but I know it’ll just make me jittery. More than one is never good for me if I’m not doing something, like working or talking to someone. I’d really like to have a nice chat over a cup of coffee right now. I haven’t done that in a long time, either. A nice chat over a bottle of red wine might be even better. But I don’t feel like wine. I feel like coffee. I love the way it smells. Its warmth. The way it can be smooth and bitter at the same time. Tea is nice, I suppose, but it’s not quite the same. Maybe it’s too subtle for me to fully appreciate.

I appreciate a lot of things, though, especially people. I appreciate people who can actually put up with me (the real me that is) seeing as they’re so rare. (I’ve been told I’m too negative and it’s true.) I appreciate the random acts of kindness that people show towards others, like the guy who gave me a free lunch when he found out I lost my job. I feel bad I don’t even know his name. I appreciate the beauty of full-moons and the hope they can inspire (but don’t tell Annie that, I’ll never hear the end of it).

Life isn’t all bad. It seems that way to me sometimes, but I know it’s not true. It’s just complicated. It doesn’t have to be, but we make it that way. It’s a strange compulsion, making life more complicated that it has to be. I think we do this in the name of progress, whatever that means. It doesn’t mean much to be at the moment. I’m more interested in happiness. I think we all are, but I think we’re confused about what real happiness is.

Happiness. A simple word for a simple concept, and yet it constantly eludes me. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s like that one saying, “You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.” Maybe it eludes me because I chase after it like a fool. But if you never chase your dreams, you’ll never catch them, right? Dreams. Reminds me of a song: “Dreams, in the night, they’re falling like rain / Dreams, in the night, they drive me insane.”

Then again, you don’t want to catch a cold. Maybe dreams are the same. Maybe they’re not something you want to catch. Dream a Little Dream was a pretty awful movie, after all. But I sure could use a rebellious Corey Feldman kicking my subconscious in the ass or a stoic Jason Robards to help put my messed up life back together for me. If only life could be like the movies.


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  1. I have a huge throbbing boner

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