Sunday, April 29, 2007

Feelin' Alright

That song sung by Joe Cocker used to be our anthem. It epitomized our confused state of elation and despair. We knew that even though we were stumbling along the edge we hadn't fallen off yet. That was enough. And we would toast to the old Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times".
We were tough and innocent. We were plush tanks. We had no idea.
Now I am over 30. I don't quit a job just because I don't like it. I don't dump somebody just because it gets hard. I don't drink to sooth my low points. I'm proud of those things. I don't climb on roofs in the middle of the night. I don't laugh till tears squeeze out my eyes. I don't run out in a rain storm just to get wet. I'm not so proud of that. I wonder now if those are things that naturally go away when you give up the things like talking to strangers all night. Do some of the more whimsical things leave with the manic ones? When you start to care how others will be effected by your actions does that automatically mean you stop doing things just to do them, just for you, just for how it will feel?
I like the memory of that foolish life-struck girl I was but I don't think I am her any more. That makes me sad and relieved at the same time. She left quite a wake of debris, that girl, and she felt aweful too often. But me, now, I feel weighed down by my choice to do the right thing and stay the steady safe course and be responsible and pay the rent on time and not go out dancing and not buy frivolous things like goldfish and potted flowers when I don't have the money. Is that girl gone? Is this a eulogy? Now that I am wiser can I no longer be foolish?
I wish I could travel in time to meet my golden age self so that she could reassure me. Hey, old lady, tell me I'm being cute and silly and that I'm heading for really great things that I will never regret. Put it on a postcard with a palm tree on it postmarked 2037.

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