The latest in a continuing series
I stumbled there for a while, you betcha. Stumbled and fell and hit my head on something hard and sharp and I wasn't sure I was ever going to get up, or even that I wanted to. But now that I've given up the worst of my bad habits and kicked myself in the ass it looks like I'm going to make it. Good goddamn, I'm going to make it.
No illusions, though. Even in the dullest moments I've never lived a dull life, so I'm not going to kid myself. Vivid dreams and experiences are the norm here; relatively clean and sober living has not changed that essential truth. I don't expect that life from here on will be placid, like some real-life Desiderata. Good gawd, I hope not. Churning is an essential part of being a badass — churning and gobbling up all of life's offerings, all the while reinventing myself along the way. Spending the rest of my life in a smiley-faced stupor sounds like a particularly wicked form of hell; thanks, but no, I think I'll pass.
I'd rather be the guy who doesn't conform and mystifies, even pisses off people. Lookit, it's something I do well. Best to face it. I'm never going to be named most popular; I'm not going to be the douchetard who goes along so I can get along and ahead. Just the thought of that existence makes me grit my teeth. No offense to the people who do it with aplomb; you're going to go far in this world and probably pick up brownie points while you're playing golf or gladhanding at the right parties. I'll be the guy on the other side of town, going native at the gathering that you're afraid might make you uncomfortable. No hard feelings, at least not on my part.
For a time there I thought I could become the gladhander, but I'm a gadfly. I sting. It amuses some people for a short period of time, but inevitably they grow wary and weary, and then they start swatting me, they get irritated, then pissed off, then infuriated. I don't do it on purpose — Christ, there are people who used to like me, even love me, and now they wish they could do much more than just block me on Facebook and pretend they never knew me. Even though I can be a jerk — no, really, apparently there is some truth to this — there's still a part of me that cringes when I think about being tossed into the abyss. Oh, the humiliation!
But then I realize an essential truth: I don't care. I stopped caring about the same time I ditched the wicked habit and came out of the fog, with the help of a (very) few good people. I mean, shit, I've already been in the abyss. I've spent so much time in that hellhole that I can see in the dark. Why waste any time worrying about someone who wants to keep me there? Why waste any time thinking about them at all? Their little lives bore me. One day they'll wake up and wonder about the noise coming from the cool kids. Never mind us. We'll be over here, trimming the purple Christmas tree and raising a toast to what is and what will be, then throwing the drained glasses to the ground and smashing all that once was under our feet.