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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Melancholia

I was riding around today and caught the faintest tang of crisp autumn air, and was suddenly struck by the most intense pang of longing and melancholy. In fact, less pang, more fist to gut, vacuum to lungs. Flashbacks. Of cool October nights spent wandering around a dim, yellow-lit New Haven with friends, slugging off to the library or Mamoun's or the top of the A&A building or wherever it was we went when we were 19 and assing around because it was early enough in our college careers, our lives, that we were convinced we had all the time in the world to become its masters. Of conversations and ideas that seemed dangerous and relevant and legitimate and goddammit, important then, but pretentious and naive only a few years on, when we've all wandered off to lives immeasurably less sexy than the ones we thought we'd have (no one ever heads off for the Ivies thinking they'll be administrators and assistants and waiters or whatever when they're done. You think you'll come out with an offer from the WHO, IMF, UN, or other internationally recognized entity. The average-job Joes never make it into the catalog). Of the fluttery euphoria of new crushes and friends and better grades than last semester and one-step-closer to real life, of limitless fucking potential. Autumn for me is so much about potential. At least, it used to be. Now, after I've tasted "real life," gone running into graduate school and found myself spit right back out into my own personal morass (the one in my quiet moments I call "The Morass of What the Fuck am I Doing With My Life," or "Dude, Where's My Future?" or, okay, I never really call it anything but a sort of ongoing directionless amble that I hope to St. Fucklesworth will end in minor literary celebrity but which may very well end in a career in real estate, not that there is anything wrong with that, real estate probably pays better than minor literary celebrity anyway) I just can't get up the Hope and Enthusiasm that I once thought, er, sprung eternal. I find myself thinking up story ideas and shooting them down before they are even duly considered. I'm quashing crushes because I am certain they'll go nowhere and be at worst minorly humiliating and at best a complete waste of time (fine for Python skits, disastrous for the ability to love, or some such psychobabble self-help isht) . I'm in a lull, and I want some wanting, some drive, some tingle. Not this aimless plodding along. I know, rationally, that for most people, life is a series of lulls occasionally interrupted by brief bouts of passiondramaandexcitement, and I realize that for the few who've got it the other way round, life is often short, tragic and/or horrifying. I'm not saying I'm ready to quit my job and join a hippie/research commune in Costa Rica, or start swinging or smokin' the crackrock. I just want the motivation to work on my book and chase some Y-chromes. I want fall to be about could again. I want to not stare blankly out car windows reminiscing about then. I want to be distracted by now. And these are supposed to be my best years. Sigh.

5 Comments:

At 10/06/2004 09:33:00 PM, Blogger TheBlackNewYorker said...

Try a writers workshop. There is an excellent on called The Frederick Douglas Creative Arts center on 96th Street. They have award winning writers, directors, playwriters, and screenwriters teaching there in all genres, including Sci-fi. Sheree Thomas, editor of Dark Matter, is teaching a creative arts class. She should get your juices flowing.
http://www.fdcac.org/docs/workshop.html

 
At 10/06/2004 11:24:00 PM, Blogger deborah said...

Chin up! Not all is as bad as it seems, but unfortunately it is the realisation that things are changing and often not in each of our favours. At the same time it can be exciting to think that you are in a stage of your life of not being tied down (I am assuming) and have the ability (as far as i have read/seen) to be the MASTER! And if all else fails i'll meet you at the hippie commune in Costa Rica, but I hear they have a really cool one in Fiji too :)

 
At 10/07/2004 10:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deep....that is some deep introspection. I know how you feel, Sid.

 
At 10/08/2004 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Zantiferous3 said...

Chin UP woman!!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE TBNY's suggestion!!! We all get stuck in these ruts. It's inevitable. Either we've accomplished all we've set out to do and it's just not as fun as it was chasing the dream... or we look back and realize we haven't DONE SHIT we've set out to do and we're disappointed because we're not where we thought we'd be. Then there are people like my best friend who are doing EXACTLY what they set out to do, love it and are living EXACTLY the life they dreamed they'd live. Those are the people we slap whenever we see them. =) Though I understand you - I wish you didn't feel this way because you're doing so much that I admire!!! =))) Come on down to the ATL, we'll have a big party and do nothing but listen to old music, play cards, get silly drunk and eat ridiculously fattening foods. Then for a perspective check, I'll drive you down Bankhead Highway on the way back to the airport which is NO JOKE - you wouldn't believe people living THAT close to downtown Atlanta could live THAT poorly. You'll be a new WOMAN once you hit Laguardia!!!

 
At 10/10/2004 03:48:00 PM, Blogger callalillies said...

Sid, don't get your pants bunched. You've only begun life after college. You're still young. You still have LOTS of time for discovering all your hopes and dreams. I agree with TBNY also. Get involved with like minds. And worry yourself when you're over 40 and regret not having followed your dream. Time is on your side, Sid.

 

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