Hold the Glimmer

Posts Tagged ‘monsters vs. rockstars

One would think taking some serious time off from writing would provide an opportunity for thoughts and ideas to cultivate in the mind.  One would think…
 
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy where or who I’ve been since I last disgraced the interwebs with my complaint-laden gibberish.  Hazy snapshots come to mind, but much like a conversation with my parents – I can never divulge anything more than generalities and insignificant details.  I’d like to say that I’ve grown as a person, learned about myself and the world, gained culture and wisdom and understanding; but the reality is I’ve burned off too many brain cells to have possibly gained anything more than an early onset of alzheimer’s and a lifetime ban from… well, it’s not important.
 
Lately I’ve been wondering how much is too much?  How far is too far?  At what point do we stop pushing the limits of public intoxication and weekend warriorhood?  When do we make the jump from running-into-the-stands Ron Artest to sweet charitable goofball Metta World Peace?  What the fuck does Metta even mean, anyway?  (Editors note: I’ve decided that Metta is my new favorite word and officially a new glimmer game.  See how many times you can use that word in a day; via email, casual conversation with your boss, to the girl crying in the bathroom stall next door…you get the picture. Game on!)
 
Maybe I was supposed to cut the shit after college, but it has only gotten worse – or better, depending on your perspective.  These days I have money to party in ways I always wanted when I was a broke student living on spaghetti and Italian dressing.  Now, every year feels like a competition to outdo last year, and the result is always the same – I’m the big winner.  The best is yet to come, which is both exciting and frightening, because as I keep surpassing myself – I’m almost positive that my body is losing.  It has to be.  Something has to give at some point.  It’s only a matter of time…
 
Normal people chalk up their hazy years to youthful rebellion and move onto the long boring phase of domesticity as a result of their ensuing maturity.  They get real jobs, settle down, have kids, and everything else takes a backseat to “life.”  I’ve started a career, not a star-studded one, but a career to be proud of nonetheless.  One that requires me to be a responsible upstanding adult, which I appear to be during work hours.  I’m surrounded by nice people – friendly grown folks who work hard even on their days off, pick up their kids from school, pay their mortgages, remodel their homes, and occasionally play golf or poker if they have a couple of hours free.  Nice people – fucking squares.  Did they start off that way?  God forbid.  Was it a gradual breaking of the exuberance and spirit that once had them preaching free love and Tuesday night skinny dipping?  It seems that even the ex-hipsters and night owls eventually sold out in the name of practicality and parenthood – two concepts with which I’m entirely unfamiliar.  
 
The other night I tried something completely outrageous and out-of-character.  It was despicable, unforgivable; my parents would be proud.  I stayed home, and did nothing.  Actually, I stayed in my hotel room.  I’m living at the Marina Del Rey Marriott right now, not that it matters or that you care – it’s just a detail to flesh out the story.  So, on a weekend night (it was Thursday, but I had Friday off), I sat in my hotel room, ordered room service, and watched my view of the pacific ocean with its sandy beaches and docked sailboats.  It was quiet, serene; just lovely.  I remember thinking, which is already a big deal for me… “Maybe I can do this – mellow out and step back from the edge.”  I’ve always been attracted to the locomotive lifestyle of monsters and rockstars.  All my heroes had the grit to push their limits, and as a result cranked out some incredibly profound bodies of work.  But, then again, all my heroes are either dead or in rehab.  Perhaps there’s something to this simple life of sobriety.  It seems a moment can be enjoyed without slurring obscenities over loud music, or offending patrons at late night diners.  Of course by 10pm I was absolutely bored with the view, the television, the room, the book I brought, and myself.  I hit the 8th floor for some free concierge Chivas, and the rest of the weekend was a blur from that point on…
 
Some might call that a failure in abstinence.  Clearly I’m a little off when it comes to prioritizing my free time.  My idea of fun can range anywhere between high-fiving dancing midgets to looking into the very face of God (sometimes in the same night).  In the middle of a year when I’ve lived harder than ever before, asking to stop and smell the proverbial roses is a tall order.  In all honesty, it feels like the only time I have to reflect on this hellish existence is the thirty minutes after pouring myself into my desk chair, before the calls start coming in and the meeting notices pop up for the day.  Break up the monotony of work through play – earn the right to play through work, and sleep when necessary.  Sounds great, but every system or schedule heads toward chaos.  A wrench in the machine, or a week or two off the grid might be just the necessary break it takes to perpetuate the craziness and keep the plates spinning in the air.  Hah, a week or two… I could barely stand four hours.  Like any exercise though, one can’t just max out right off the bat.  You build up.  So my four hours can be expanded to an entire evening, and eventually a weekend, and then a whole week.  A whole week… I can feel the neurons regenerating at the thought.  It sounds like madness comparing relaxation and sobriety to working out, but I suppose some people have to try to eat more pizza, watch more television, and remind themselves what a sunset looks like through fresh clear eyes.   
 
So I do admit, a holiday (that’s English for vacation) from the insanity is in order, but I don’t plan on slowing down permanently anytime soon.  This year will pale in comparison to next year, and that’s just how I like it.  How far is too far?  We’re not there yet.  Taking a break gives me the chance to reflect on the good times passed, and plan bigger and better ways to conquer the night.  This has nothing to do with rebellion, or having trouble appreciating myself, or running away from any deeper issues.  I know what I’m looking for – to fulfill a dream – the American Dream, the fucking Global Dream.  The dream of participating without restraint in the human condition.  To use up the body I’ve been given tasting the fruits of life all over the world.  The operative word for the unattainable here would be balance.  Personally, I don’t believe in it.  If everything is in equilibrium and you’re feeling comfortable, you’re probably sleeping too much.  At our age, only the flounders feel any consistent level of comfort.  Monsters thirst for more – not as an indulgence in gluttonous bullshit, but as a quest for the kind of experiences mere mortals only see with their eyes closed; not to repeat the same fun and games until we grow tired and give them up, but to challenge ourselves to break out of the box we live in and truly feed our souls.  When my time is up, I won’t be looking back to say I missed out by sitting on the sidelines.  What would be the point?  To live in consistent boredom until the end of time, in hopes that heaven will make up for everything that passed you by on Earth?  Sounds a little uncertain to me.  Because when I finally do settle down – it won’t be because I was too scared to find what I really wanted.  In the meantime, I’m going to test my tolerance for discomfort by taking deep breaths and experiencing some calm.  And if you see me sitting there obnoxiously tapping my feet, it’s not because I’m fiending – it’s just to remind myself the ground is still there…
 

This is my life

 
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