Are you who you want to be?
I mean at this very moment- right now, not tomorrow, not next week after you hear back about that promotion, car loan, that new jacket that you want but don’t really need but might go on sale during Easter weekend so why not, right? Are you who you want to be? Before what happens next- between the hours at sleep and the hours at work. You’re already thinking of that thing, yeah*? And once you have it or hold it or feel it or experience it, you’re just so god damn certain that it will provide a completeness that otherwise falls apart under prolonged scrutiny. Will it finally satiate those tremors of jealousy that itch the back of your throat when you scroll through other people’s cherry-picked musings and snaps on social media? And does recognizing that you’re having those feelings bother you more than Julie’s album of her fifth fucking trip to Mexico? The one she uploaded like the goddamn second she got off the plane and found WiFi? I mean she makes decent money so good for her- have fun, I guess- but go visit another fucking country, right?! You’re 38 years old and half Italian- go to Italy, Julie! Christ. Or at least take photos of more than just your 9AM margaritas and the guy who fell asleep next to you on the plane. (And while we’re on the subject, those panoramic shots of you staring out at sea that you post every couple of days make you look like a fucking cunt, Brad**. Knock it off!)
Are you who you thought you’d be? However many years ago, when you were a child? A teen, a young adult… a fucking month ago? Do you lament things so far in the past you’re starting to forget the faces and names and sounds of their voices and end up two proverbial blocks from home wondering why the fuck that stuff is occupying your brain-scape at all***? Do you remember your idealistic youth- your energy, hope, the way you used to laugh before the student loan debt and thinning hair? Will everything really be okay when that coat goes on sale? I’m sure we’ll fit in a medium this season; I think cutting out dairy helped. Christ, a medium- that would be phenomenal! Probably try it on at the store first though: take a photo and share it. If it gets to double-digit likes, it’s a winner! ****
Do you ever just think this is all bullshit? The construct of country, politics, and obviously religion? Dog spas. Multi-level marketing. Bridges are weird. You’re one text message away from stepping into the crosswalk too early or too late and that’s it- fade out. Darkness. Insignificance you may have already felt but it’s definitely happening now because you’re dead because you got a push notification on your phone about the new Spiderman movie because you signed up because you love Spiderman and fuck it? Why not get instance news about Spiderman? But you’re dead now. And maybe you get to come back- I don’t know, and anyone that says they do is lying- or maybe your brain gets a factory reset and you get to live your same life again. And again. And again. Until you finally figure out the rhythm and suddenly in the moment, you bust-out every pithy comeback you thought of five minutes after it was useful.*****
Or maybe that’s it. And maybe it doesn’t matter because in a thousand years, the only people around during our time that future-people will give a shit about are dictators and British musicians.
You ever lay awake at night and think about that stuff?
Yeah, me neither.
* Mine is rollerblades.
** And then you’ll feel bad when you learn that Brad’s mother has recently passed and he doesn’t know how to talk about it so every few days he just wanders to the spot where he remembers his mother used to take him to watch the boats come in when he was a kid. He stares off into the distance, mourning the woman who gave him life. Sometimes he cries but he mostly just stares. Then one day Brad asks a neer-do-well passing by to snap a photo of him. It’s so strange that he trusts a homeless person with his iPhone, you’ll say out loud and then regret when someone looks at you funny. But the man- a veteran of the Iraq War- obliged. Brad bought him lunch and thanked him for his service. (Brad seems like a nice guy so I think you should cut him some slack.)
**** You can pass the time by heading to the mall restroom to cry or masturbate.
***** I am not sure if this aptly describes a version of heaven or hell. So reader’s choice, I guess.