This post makes a lot more sense if you’ve seen my favorite film, The Brothers Bloom.
I don’t often drink, but when I do, I feel it instantly, I can’t walk straight and the ceiling arcs into a planetarium. I’m not saying after I’ve taken 17 shots and housed 4 beers; I mean after one half of a hard lemonade. That’s where I am tonight, hammering away again at my poor old MacBook which is probably tired of dictating my cyclical thoughts to the world.
The half-Salvadorian friend I’m staying with in the mountains is in the shower while I’m getting blasted on my second White Claw and pretending I know how to write like James Joyce as he penned his own stream of consciousness into Ulysses.
We just watched my favorite film of all time together, and I’m replete with sadness that I may never pen, in the words of Bloom, a story of such rich characters, embedded symbolism and crap, like dead Russian novelists.
I’m pondering the insanity of the world.
It’s a humid place and I wouldn’t believe it if you’d told me. I would never believe that water can hover in the air like a net, unless I’d felt it with my own pores; unless I’ve inhaled the rich oxygen with my own low-elevation lungs. The world is a magical place where your iPod gets stolen out of a church in Cape Cod, but when I lost my brand new iPhone 12 in a cave in Mexico, the kind Mexicans returned it to me.
It’s a constant tension: blooming and bleeding; sunrises and sunsets; life and death.
Is the world less romantic than I think it is, or more?
I’ve seen a lot of sunsets and fewer rises, but enough to matter, and I can tell you that they won’t be stopping any time soon. I’ve seen the world through -2.50 prescription lenses and, unless my lenses warped the image like a watermelon pinhole camera, it is both. It is bursting with magic and death. It is the only singing orb in the universe, and it’s a shame our song can’t travel through space.
“In space they can’t hear you sing,” or whatever.
The song of the ocean as it sings the same redundant, yet ferocious song against the soft shore.
The song of a million infants crying at once for their mother’s breast.
The few but loud songs of lovers as they protest hindrances standing between them and their beloved.
Perhaps I’ll never be loved like that. Perhaps mine is a love story that won’t be written until eternity, and I’ll lament that until I die, but then afterward, I won’t. I’ll meet that glorious blackness with gladness and peace. After all, it is a blackness that ends in the wedding feast of God and God’s people, so I’ll finally arrive.
Maybe there is no Penelope for me, no intimate hand to hold while winding through the streets of Prague.
I’ve found that love is easy from a distance, but up close where you can smell their breath, count their zits, and feel their sweaty palm against yours, it becomes much harder.
I’ve found that love is easy when they like you too, and they praise your every breath.
“Tell me how that one felt. And that one.”
But they don’t; no one is that good.
And even if they did, it wouldn’t satisfy you. You wouldn’t feel the elated state of completion as if time had finally crescendoed and felt equally content to rest. Time is what prevents contentment after all. A certain song may make you feel at peace in the universe, but every song ends.
I once sat beside Miss Universe on an airplane and held her while she cried. She kissed me. I watched the cool blanket of sunset clouds stretch out toward the horizon, and I would have liked to stay in that moment a long time. I would have been content.
But like music and moments and life, time whisks us away and onto the next moment, where we are not guaranteed to be as happy.
Life is a constant adaptation to the present moment, and if you constantly hate your present (as I often do), then it’ll be a pretty rough life. So in that sense, we are given the option to adapt to the present and accept it as it comes, or to create a future; the change the coming string of ‘presents’ more to your liking.
Humans, as being traveling through time and with the capacity to project into the idea of the future, are given this option. I need to take my own advice. I need to define the sort of future I want and map out its foundation.
The fact that it’s taken me roughly 30 years to realize this, and to begin to lay some groundwork for this is rather staggering. You could say I’ve been subsisting on the little blips of enjoyment that have come my way instead of playing the long game and building something. Maybe that’s what your 30’s are for. After all, my body isn’t slowing down quite yet, and I’m still stoked on life like an addict on a whippit.
I’ll huff the recycled airplane air all day long, letting it get me high on adventure and discovery.