Wednesday, March 2, 2011


"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
-Chapter Six: Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland

I open my eyes.

My room is encumbered by a spring chill. Like a mist it enshrouds and envelopes this 10” x 12” cavern of privacy. Like a dog's heavy breath, it's moist. Unlike the air of the living, it's cold and unforgiving. There is a voice to this fog. A whisper of despair that somehow stirs in the dark recesses of my heart.

I roll over as my alarm clock screams. It's the obnoxious screech of a harpy cutting through my dreams like a machete. My muscles are slow to react and reluctantly I reach out and let my hand fall upon the alarm button. As if choked on the ironic turbulence of my mood, the banshee like contraption hiccups and falls into silence

It's time to start the day.

I lay back and sigh. It's a sigh that sucks the mists of sleep up out of the room. It scoops it like a spoon of shredded wheat and dumps in squarely into my chest, where the rest of my secrets, my stories, my fears reside. You see a man's chest is a bucket of anonymity. It's where the landscapes of his life spread out and unfold like a million plus miles of prairie. It's the weight by which you judge a man. No, it isn't by the wealth that lines his silk pajama pockets. Nor is it the roof that stands stalwartly above his head. It isn't even by his career or his hobbies. “How then, Joshua, does one judge a man?” You do so by his fallacies... and his dreams. These are the trade winds that catch the sails of his heart and soul and draw him into the world like a ship leaving the harbor.

“Tell me a story,” you say.

Well, I really only have one to tell. It's the only thing written on the fields of my mind. The only thing in this world I can call mine.

I can't promise you it's a happy story. I can only define it as promising.

I rolled out of bed today and stumbled to my bedroom door. I turned on the light and tugged clumsily at the door knob. The door moaned and gave way begrudgingly. I grabbed a towel from the pantry and turned off the A/C. I walked to the shower, closed the door, got clean, got out, got dressed, and prepared my lunch for the day. After that I got in my car and began the long drive from my doorstep to Ashland. I drove to work.

There is nothing exciting about this. But this is every day. This is what I do. It's routine and unworthy. I would call it pathetic and sad that the few years we walk upon this earth are spent repeating over and over the sacrifices society and life insist. It's as though we're a lyric in a song, skipping, skipping, skipping, until we're unable to recollect where we once began and ultimately where we'll end. Like you, I'm a prisoner to the ordinary and plain... a dreamer... wishing for the freedom of my own emerald dreams.

When I was younger it was different. I remember all the possibility. The world was a vast horizon greeting me at my door step. I use to think I'd be great.

I smile, thinking back on that.

Joshua was not like other boys. Though small and lithe, short and awkward, there was a destiny that lay about him that was only dwarfed by the potential resting on his shoulders. The world was his to mold and shape, to explore and wander, to define and carry all the days of his life. While I was a nerd and outcast at school I was something more in the parameters of my own imagination. I was champion waiting for destiny to sweep me up and paint me across a thousand colorful victories.

I would spend my afternoons pretending to defend freedom from viscous adversaries. Perhaps I was breaking into a tomb like Indiana Jones, or piloting a boat down the Amazon in search of some lost treasure. Regardless, I was larger than life; a life of talking tree's and pixies, sword fights and romance, dragons, demons, angels, lost loves, rugged highlands, mysterious creatures, chatty animals, and heroic characters. There was a piggy bank of fiction stored squarely in my mind, it was all for me, and as wide as the five horizons of the earth.

At some point I lost it, those verdant fields. Elysium was folded and tucked away. It was put in a cupboard or dresser drawer and forgotten, until today.

That's the tragedy of growing old.

You trade your dreams for something real... and that something real isn't ever as great as the stories in your heart.

I can't remember how to tell a story...

Every day I wake up and a portion of my soul screams that I should be doing something.

“What, what is this thing, this destiny, this task, this something that calls me like a rancid addiction!”

Like Alice, I feel as though I should be going somewhere. But where? Was I supposed to know the way? This, I fear, is the curse of adulthood and the common anguish of our age. Society told us all that we had to be somewhere and it forgot to mention when and where.


1 comment:

  1. I once saw black. I jumped into this abyss to see if their was light at the end of it. After years of falling. At least I thought I was, I realized that I was the only light in that darkness and that the darkness existed only as far as I let it. Now, that same darkness is only my shadow.

    I just wrote that for you boss.