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I don't really know how to do stuff. I can't fix anything or install anything or build anything. If I try I'll invariably fuck it up and have to be rescued. The things you take for granted.....dealing with deliverymen or getting from point A to point B and finding a place to park, or going to the store armed with a specific list......I prepare for like a General prepping for war. I'm flummoxed by banks and bills and student loans and Home Depots and wrapping mic cables and plumbing and routine car maintenance. I once had a car I owned catch fire on route 81 because I never changed the oil. My mind doesn't work the way your mind works. While you're thinking about the nuts and bolts of householding, I'm out wandering the streets, engrossed in a podcast about genocide or what happened at Chernobyl, and pondering the damage that belonging to a species bogged down by so many shits does to whatever your definition of a soul is. When I get home I simply avoid anything that’s broken. I'm a hoot at parties.
I don't know why any of this is so. There are no family legends of me being dropped on my head as a baby or anything like that. My Dad was as handy as the next guy. He could fix the broken furnace and install shelves in the garage and keep track of all the bills and none of his cars ever caught fire on the side of the road. He was also a sensitive intellectual with a touch of the poet about him. He was everything I ever wanted to be, and I think the fact that I've fallen so short is what triggers my anxiety.
The bar was high. Admittedly. He could face the day-to-day mundanities with aplomb. He pushed through his own shyness and never let any of us see him sweat. Even when he had serious episodes of Tachycardia, we never knew. He'd tell us he was going to get a newspaper and then drive himself to the hospital.
Alzheimer's eventually took hold, and stole that veneer of cool away. We all got to witness what he'd fought so hard to keep at bay all these years. He'd shake and tremble with worry, over this or that insignificant detail. The glass of water on the table. The ring on his finger that was slipping due to his weight loss. When he couldn't remember something, like our own names, he'd punch himself in the head. No amount of drugs could ease his torment. And when he died, all that anxiety passed, as if by the holy spirit, into my Mother, who was now alone with her own dementia. Her anxiety became so bad that when drugs failed, at times she had to be restrained to keep from hurting herself. This woman, who stared 6 children into compliance and navigated every mountain each of us dumped into her lap, spent the last year of her life being chased down hallways by nursing home orderlies. She was running from what she could not see. And she had no place left to go.
So, yea, in retrospect maybe this anxiety stuff doesn't come out of the ether. They were strong enough to dilute it at least.....and I'm not. Case closed. I bore holes in the dark ceiling with my eyes, sleepless and dreamless, and when the light comes through the curtains it sometimes feels like the start of a horror movie. Mornings are by far the worst time.
So into my head I go. Into words and melodies and books and trying to make sense out of the senseless, while the appliances are breaking down and the cars need to be inspected and all that interest is accruing. I remain ever-desperate to hide my day-to-day dance with imposter syndrome and fraud, and I'm looking at all of you and wishing I had what you have.
If I could stay here....in this room.....with this laptop and my notebooks and books and guitars....forever.....I would. I'm safe here. I'm the anti FOMO guy. I don't want to waste time trying something new because, unlike U2, I have found what I'm looking for.
But that's all a bit loony. I must come up for air at times, and occasionally manage to have a bit of fun in the process. Family. Friends. Music. Writing. All 4 make me happy. All 4 have treated me much better than I probably deserve.
In a bit..