12 January 2020

Well . . . I sure did go ahead and write another essay-thing the other day about the sadness of long-gone things, specifically this air-thin miracle of a time in my life when I lived parallel to a dozen or so beautiful people in the same city. Maybe you read it. If you didn’t, that’s OK too. I miss my Oakland friends, is what I’m saying, and I’ve taken it especially hard because they’re all gone and it is just not something that will ever happen again the same way. Try as I might, I just can’t imagine how we would all end up in the same place again. There’s no way. I can’t get over it for some reason, even though there’s nothing anyone can do because it’s definitely dead forever. And I hate that I know this, but there’s a freaking Japanese phrase for this: MONO NO AWARE. Yes, the gentle sadness of knowing ephemera is a fact of life, and there’s no escaping it. Oh well!

Anyway: I was poking around, and I found a passage I wrote about it back in June 2018. It is probably written more elegantly than any way I have described this sensation since then:

Listen: I understand. I really do understand how someone who has managed to exist long enough to see a full spectrum of sadnesses and failures would be absolutely shredded by their 30th birthday. And when that time comes, you either quit it all and find whatever comfort and relative safety you can get your hands on . . . or darkly forsake the future and continue to live in the strange limbo that made you! It is true for everyone whether they realize it or not that the preceding years were all an experiment to discover what you like and don’t like, and want and don’t want, and the results of this experiment are, to some, that they didn’t like or want any of it, and instead opt for the tried-but-true allure of long-term monogamous relationships and boxed wine and shared movie-streaming-service passwords. You hang around with other couples and play novelty card games, and use the word “bedtime”, and actually change the oil in your car every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You wear soft earth tones and comfortable shoes, and buy nice towels, and add ancillary kitchen appliances to your Amazon wishlist. I don’t know. I’m generalizing of course, in a cartoonish way, though everything I’ve uttered here is something I’ve seen in people before. Conversely, I know a few creeps, bless their creepy hearts, who are right there beside me as we traverse the long dark dream together . . . having eschewed THE STATUS QUO, finding it to be boring and repulsive! I love the hell out of these people. I just wish I knew more of them is all. . . .

Hell, maybe I’ll never really get over that feeling, because you only ever lose more and more people to this godawful disease. The people on the other side, the people like me, well—you’ve met them before, and have seen them everywhere . . . they’re sitting in bars by themselves, or living in the woods half the year, or whatever the hell else. When all your rowdy friends have settled down, what else can you do?

OK, I’m gonna keep working on stuff now. I guess that’s also something you can do!