Knowing now what I do, I face extrordinary dilemmas.
The knowing I refer to, being the fact that all is possible within the governing laws of order and chaos. For even kings are subject to the laws of nature.
The dilemma being the fact that time and tide wait for no man. But ’tis better to set a false course than none at all; however, best to make sure.
So that’s what I’m thinking about.
Courses, possibilities, the call of distant stars; measuring that which is best to reach.
Thirty is such an age when men may do these things; at least, for me, I have never before weighed possibilities out against the sands of time, as I now do.
Age. The clock continues to strike, moving closer to midnight on some dreams than others.
I can always be forty and build businesses – striving for the empire in which I can catch my reflection in the mirror and say fuck you, I made it to those who never thought I would.
I can always be forty and American. It’s thirty that flees, reminding me, as I near closer thirty one, that I cannot dig these days back out.
These are the years.
There’s just something inherent within the power of choice I have today, telling me to choose wisely. Reminding me I want XYandZ in the coming years more than I want ABandC.
I rounded out my previous entry with words on eating cake and having it too, but a man must know what brioche is – lest he spend his days chasing bread.
I heard something in my twenties once to the effect of: how a man spends his days is how he spends his life. These are my days, this my life; am I chasing bread or baking brioche?
I had, until recently, a great and terrible freedom: no wife and no kids. Great for I had no ties, and terrible for I yearned for them. And, while I do not at present have a wife, I do have something akin to one. Thus, the terrible longing for a dearest friend is again over, but the other side of the coin shines light on new great and terrible truths. Great because I have ties – terrible for they are not yet bound. The second part, the fear, owing to the fact that I did not buy my wife as an established man does. She loves me for me alone, but I must make sure she knows what she is bargaining for. When a woman imagines marrying a writer, I do not think she imagines the verb inherent to the noun. Perhaps I ought come with a disclaimer: whiskey: yes, dinner parties: hopefully (Thankfully, the latter is still within reach).
At the library where I work as a part time volunteer, there is a man who strikes me as very nice. Myself, being a writer, have of course invented – or at least invented in this moment – a story about him, for I do not know him well. The story goes, this nice man, being smart and more interesting than most, wanted to be a writer – he fancied himself so. Only, he did something else. Maybe a long romance, maybe a career in engineering, maybe both. Only, neither worked out beyond maintaining his lifestyle, which is to say, the quality of life he felt owed. So, at thirty nine or maybe forty two, he left the job, lost the girl, maybe a year of despondency ensued, but then he got smart and honest about who he was. So, he took up his library position, and started writing on those days off. And maybe he even wrote in the mornings too, only that didn’t last given the resistance of middle age to new habits. But just maybe he finished his book. Let’s say he did. So, he sends it to publishers, enclosed in the bright lavender envelope all the pipe-dream directed writing books tell you to use. Only, the book was no good. Watching 10 seasons of Law And Order in his thirties dulled his characterizations, and his story, about a guy who walked away from it all at thirty to write, was uninteresting at best. So tonight he lumbers into his apartment bed, bleary eyed from Netflix, and he tells himself, at fifty, I shall travel.
Just maybe; it is certainly not an unbelievable tale.
Thankfully, I am thirty – but still, the tale, albeit fictional, is not unrelatable for me. It’s a cautionary myth, concocted in my own head to remind me that time is the most precious asset I have.
So I am here, writing and ruminating on the truest course toward the brightest star.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been much for seeking or following parental advice, and the men I wish I could seek the counsel of, my grandfathers, are as stone dead today as they were upon my birth, which may in itself be telling, for the men in my family, excepting my father at sixty-odd years, have not been long for this world. Not to say I do not feel I am, but as much as I pine to one day be a grandfather, I’m not yearning for my seventies, nor am I excited about life much beyond the coming few decades, which, given my genealogical research, may be all I have left, making thirty middle aged for me, and deeper relating myself to the relic of a writer tale, which I mythologized above.
Like I said, I am facing extrordinary dilemmas. Life is not one of those choose your own adventure stories in which all avenues may be explored without the immovable, chronological weight of time.
Unlike the Duke Ellington record, which I now have gotten up to replay the A side of four times, my thirties are a one way ticket. No B side, no telling Sam to play it again. Like the beer I picked up tonight, it’s one and done. Thankfully, the beer is 22 ounces, and my thirties ten years long. Only, I know I can’t be thirty six and be making a first go at sending off that lavender envelope. I know my story in the pulsings of my blood, and that’s not how it goes.
There is another, well-known, mythologized tale of the would be writer. It’s the tale of the guy who always had that great screenplay or novel in him, but there was always an excuse. The timing was just never right to write. But then finally, it was, he had the desk and library (Ahem, both my library and my desk are absolute tits – thank you very much). Only, when he sat down to write, it was all in vain. His dreams were perhaps more of the noun and less of the verb – more dinner parties for ten than whiskey for one.
Of course, as all real (See: published) writers will tell you, the timing is never right. The time to write is now and every goddamn day you consume oxygen on this bloody planet. Unfortunately most wannabes want the lifestyle rather than the life.
I am reminded of the ancient words, imploring me to be rather than to seem.
Only, it’s all very meta now; I write yes, but I am no different than one who writes Harlequin novels; it’s all masturbation and no nipple biting. I write about writing, yet I do not write as a writer does, I merely find secondhand outlet. And it’s all very tiring and unsatisfying.
So, I’ll lumber off to slumber, knowing that at thirty one, I’ll be a writer.