Time passes. Days run out. Intentions blur and fade. The things we do and the things we intend to do can be very different and sometimes contradictory. Age is catching up with me. And on some days I yearn to be young again, but a different kind of young than the one I remember being. I sit in the back dark corner of a Starbucks, It’s somewhat how I see myself positioned in the world “now”. I watch the hoards “doing their thing” and I feel disconnected.
I keep walking forward in life but the young are running, not walking. I stopped walking a few years ago and slowly the young are disappearing into a thin line on the horizon. I look out onto an empty plane and the only people I relate to are the ones beside me walking, or the ones slowly trailing behind me (more like strolling).
The giggles of new love, the naivety of trust, and the idea of thrusting myself foolhardily out into the world risking it all, are days gone by. I sit in my moulding observatory mansion high on the top floor looking out the attic window at the world. Sometimes I hear people knocking on my front door far below me, but the sound is faint and it’s too far to travel down to answer it. They will most likely be gone when I get there. And if I do manage to answer it in time, it will just be some frustrating solicitor I will exact displaced revenge upon.
My bones don’t creak and my paranoia is at bay. Nothing much seems new, but that’s ok. I do things for different reasons than I used to. I listen to people more to actually hear what they have to say, rather than to be polite. I think more about the people around me and how time is slipping through our fingers like a small grass snake or piece of bright yellow ribbon.
Looking out a small window at the world from a high place is comforting most of the time. Sure the odd fly will buzz on its back upon the floor once in a while, taking me out of my comfort zone. But the flies die fast and the silence of observation returns quickly. These flies are the black spots in the ointment of my consciousness. They mix in and break apart if I keep the ointment mixed up. This “place” is where I think we all end up in our own way. Sometimes it feels like a prison. Sometimes it feels like utopia.
Music helps, but it comes from different places now. The radio is mostly french language with Jazz. Otherwise I play hours of mixed and collected varieties of genres stolen from the internet and stored on blocks of wired metal. There are days when I use music to muse on memories, but I enjoy it mostly when it captivates me without direction or purpose and becomes solely an emotional seasoning to my awake or working hours.
Going down those stairs and leaving the comfort of my window view chair is an effort at times. I don’t mean to go out and walk the dog, get groceries, or eat a meal somewhere I have a hundred times before. I mean to go down those stairs and walk out into something new. Something unknown. Something unpredictable or erudite.
Living in a city can be somewhat unremarkable. It makes you feel like a small fish sitting in an eddy of a large river while many other fishes move past you in all directions oblivious to everything but their swimming. The noise wallows out and changes into a blanket of rushing silence. Think of the sound of a stereo with the volume up high but nothing is playing. Just the humming energy of readiness.
I sit here in the back but I look out the windows. My eyes move from fish to fish. The back of a young girl’s neck. The tattoo of a black widow spider on a biker’s arm. The toad like jowls of a portly man in an ascot. People fucking everywhere. All kinds and all types, doing and thinking essentially all the same things. I look at all of these people and never really see anyone I want to meet. No one I want to talk to. Sure, a few might inspire the notion to ask a few questions like: What ever possessed you to wear that? Why are you in such a hurry? or maybe to just stop someone and tell them: Hey everything will be all right. (yes i would be lying).
I see a guy maybe thirty years old. White shorts, florescent orange baseball hat backwards, florescent orange t-shirt, white rimmed plastic sunglasses, florescent orange and black knapsack, bright white trainers with florescent orange laces. It is an ensemble with statement. Needless to say I am lost for words when it comes to thinking about what I might say to him, if anything.
As I get older I want to dress with less expression. I want things to look relatively neutral. I think as a man gets older he is forced into such desire. If I continued to dress or buy the clothes I was attracted to I would draw large amounts of attention to myself and most likely look very suspicious.
Outlandish or overly expressive dress for middle-aged men is just wrong. There is no way to do it and not look ridiculous. I used to find “special shirts” and hold them up to get the approval of my wife. It was always, no, no. After a year or so, I just gave up (it was for my own good). There are times when you need to put your foot down and times when you know that your life-partner has your back. This was one of those “have your back” times.
Now I know what to buy. My rules are: not too bright, make sure it has a collar, no cargo pockets of any kind, limited amounts of military camouflage sometimes, and no baseball caps with broad flat brims.
I’ve been out for a few hours now.
I sit here thinking on the what if’s of the day.
What if I had stayed home and just hung out with my dog?
I wonder what will happen on the way home. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?
I wonder in total what my life will amount to. How will this eloquently orchestrated system I have created sitting up on high unfold for me and those around me? Will there be drastic sudden change or will everything be as it is and as it should be, and so on, and so on.
How long will we all live?
When should I start worrying about everything?
I guess we all just need to build enough security in life to feel comfortable and still keep things interesting.
On my way here I took a nap on the streetcar. I dozed in and out of sleep as a strange young man stood over me speaking random phrases to no one in particular. I wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up but it was not a wise option so I just tried to sleep through it. It caused some strange surreal dreams and at one point it seemed like this idiot was right inside my head, or literally breathing down my fucking neck.
Random shit that makes a person wish they stayed in their comfy chair at the attic window.