Thursday, October 31, 2013


It's been a thoughtful time away from the Paragraph Factory — time enough to gain some perspective on the insanity called Life, time enough to do some creative writing and scheming. October, one of the cruelest months, is over; now comes November and goddamned Thanksgiving, then December and the accelerated rush to the end of this Odd Year.

Has it really been a year since I forecast 2013 to be the best year of my life? Indeed, and the forecast has come true, in parts. I discovered a vein of creativity that I did not know existed before. I also found out I'm harder than I thought possible. Perhaps finding the cold core within wasn't the best revelation, but in some ways it has kept me on the tracks. It has made me realize the value of self-preservation.

In other ways this has been the worst of my 52 years. I miss my old life in so many ways, and the people who once inhabited it. If I think too long or too much about it I go slightly crazy — not drunk-dialing crazy (it helps that I don't drink much), but thoughts ricochet around the inside of my skull and I have to clamp down to keep it together. That's when I feel the cold settle in my bones as I realize there is a part of me that no longer exists, the part where kindness once resided. It would not be fair to call me a kind man these days. Unkindness is not limited to a group of ravens.

Too much thinking — about an imperfect past and an uncertain future — brings out the fatalist (and nihilist) in me. It's not fair to the people I'm around, so I keep it to myself. I'm rondavis. That guy rocks. Only when I'm alone in this apartment do I let the mask fall and let Ron have his 10 minutes of complete breakdown. I bite the inside of my mouth to keep from screaming. I punch my head and send the saltwater flying from my eyes. I stay clean and sober. There is that much to be proud of.

The phone alarm sounds; time to suck it up. Text parties with friends, maybe even a phone call. Perhaps I'll order in a pizza, no cheese, and raise a toast to myself: you are almost there; you have finished several goals and will accomplish the rest before the last seconds of 2013 are history. I will end it on the promised high note. I will startle and amaze. Really, it's all coming together — not exactly the way I planned, but there is nothing I can do about that now. Plans change. We make do with what we get, and if it's not good enough ... well, it has to be.

Tonight I'll turn off the lights and try to remember, try not to forget. I'll watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and sing along and alone, and throw the mask in a corner. This is Halloween. Goddamn it.

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