This is going to be one of those introspective, all-about-me posts.
I’m sitting in an egg chair at work (kind of like the ones in Men in Black) sipping bitter pour-over coffee that cost too much money and telling myself I like it.
I’m listening to the album Yellow House by Grizzly Bear, which I love, an trying to relax before I start working again. [Listen to Colorado.]
It’s not working.
Over Thanksgiving break we built a house out of sticks for my wife’s preschool class. It took myself and my two brothers 4 days and what felt like 1,000 branches to complete it. It was relatively hot and sunny one day, then harshly cold and cloudy the next.
I wanted it to look like a Patrick Dougherty piece. Instead, it looks kind of crappy, half-finished and haphazard.
Last night I drove to and from Topeka to take the boys home. I ate winterfresh Altoids and listened to gospel music, then 80s Christmas music, then thrash metal to try and stay awake as I rolled through the Flint Hills. My parents say that when I was a baby all they had to do was take a trip around the block to get me to sleep (or maybe that was another child). Either way, the rolling hills have a way of still rocking me to sleep – like gentle waves under a baby basket. The moon was faintly shining shrouded by the low, dark clouds.
Today is Monday, and I’m exhausted. I’m physically sore, mentally drowsy, and emotionally short. My coworker smelled my goddamn coffee; with her nose over my desk. I’m worried about money, about my pregnant wife and her school and job applications, about my own work, about moving next year and how dirty our apartment is and what I’m going to make for dinner and police brutality and how fat I’m getting and that I’m not spending enough time with my daughter.
I’m anxious, brutish, tired, and short.
Lately, I’ve been worried about my religion. Is it good enough? Am I lying to myself about what I believe? Am I really doing the best I can, or am I just a horrible sinner?
I’m lustful. I’m proud. I eat too much and pray too little. Are these problems that need taken care of, or just how life is for everyone?
I don’t know.
My stomach is starting to hurt because of the acidic coffee. I’m still going to finish it, even though it’s getting cold.
More and more, all I want is a home in the mountains, near a lake. A place where I can watch the sunset and build a fire. Maybe I’ll grow a few crops and learn to play the guitar. Staying in shape won’t be optional because of the woodsy farming chores. In my free time, I will finally write that novel; the one that moves people to tears and fills them with hope and scares them and turns them on. Someday, the story will come to me in a rush of images and emotions. I’ll be swept up by a muse and carried off to wonder.
I’ll have threesomes and go hiking and see bears and grow an impressive beard and become a falconer.
Somehow, I’ll still be me, but better. More loving, more responsible, more creative, sexier, healthier, and more in touch with God.
Today, however, I need to go back to work and give Leslie her final warning.