Saturday, January 31, 2009

Melancholy much?

Some people say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes you are led to believe that a long time away from the place that you call home will make you appreciate the small things, the mediocrity. No. Most times a little vacation can make you recognize the voids in your life. We all have our empty spaces and our dark corners where nothing can really hide. We mask and we run, turning out lights and extinguishing candles. Fleeing back to the light of familiarity which is nothing but exactly that: what we know. It’s all about those well-placed reminders, the pint-sized intangibles like the smell of a worn out blanket or a favorite song.

You take these precautions in life to make sure that things will never bend beyond your control. I’ll have a job, and a roof over my head, and reliable transportation, and a meal in my stomach, and clothes on my back, and someone to call at night, and I’ll have some sort of purpose in this ridiculous mess that has become my existence. I’ll have good credit, and an impressive resume, and I’ll have self-confidence because nothing can ever, ever go wrong. People will like me and I will be fine.

But it’s all a mirror image. We become these characters, play these parts, build these facades and perpetuate the charades. It’s a sort of sonar. Waves bouncing back and forth to create a picture of who we really are, or who we want to be. People will tell you jokes so that you’ll think they’re funny or buy you flowers so that you’ll think they’re thoughtful. They’ll ask you about your feelings so they can appear caring and simultaneously convince others that they are a plethora of self-loathing information. He said, she said.

She’ll cry to you so that you can tell her everything will be okay, and you’ll cry back because it feels good for someone to tell you that it can only get better. Before it gets worse. I’m just beginning to question why it is that we lean on people. Why we support people that cannot reciprocate the basics of humanity. People who kick you when you’re down. People that abandon you when you are all but alone. People that will tell you lies and disguise the truth in pretty gift-wrapped packages.

So you start stacking bricks. You begin with one story, spread a layer of mortar and expand to two. You build these walls and use your self-proclaimed fortress as a reason to be dismissive of any brave soul who knocks at the castle walls. Lose yourself in the notion of being completely independent of vulnerability. So I give up. White flag.

Warm sands, palm trees, and margaritas at one o’clock in the afternoon will only teach you that you aren’t taking your life for granted. Life is taking you for granted. People in your life are mostly taking you for granted. I’m not a gambling person for the sole reason that I don’t have much to gamble. But I’d bet that eliminating negative people is a lot more profitable than eliminating life. And vacations are fantastic.