You could say that I took the easy way out (and many do). You could say that I chose to be comfortably down and out, rather than struggle (and many do). You could say that I missed an opportunity to prove myself by taking care of myself for once and puling myself up by my own boot straps (and I do say that). I failed, I was tested and I failed. It’s not my first failed test and it will undoubtedly not be my last. I am unstable, and full of anger and rage. I am also filled with fear. I am paralyzed in my life and my emotional growth. I have lived this stunted life for close to twenty years now. I have been incapable of taking care of myself since my mother died. I have been afraid to grow-up, grow old, or growing period. In my mind I was expanding I was learning at all times everything was being absorbed, but outside of my mind the only thing expanding was my girth. I was not progressing in my relationships or in my life at all. I was not becoming a valuable member of society or fulfilling myself worth with people of financially. In fact, I was regressing. Regressing to the point of calling myself a Monkee and flipping off anything without a tail!
Like many in my generation I am a hopeless man-child more concerned with playing video games and spending hours online looking at people do things we wish we could if we could bring ourselves to get from behind the screen. I wasn’t always tethered to a screen, but I have spent the last several years this way. I’ve been a keyboard jockey so long I’m terrified of what a life without maybe like, even thought I know. Existing primarily online for so long has been my shield, my armor from growing. I felt like I was able to express myself and connect with people all over the world in some quasi-god-like fashion. All imaginary expansion, mind you, none of it tangible. I haven’t tried to achieve my goals of being published, or even garnering enough attention (or buzz) to warrant it. I haven’t found my voice, or tried to establish a niche. I write what I feel. I tried to expand upon my particular world view or philosophy and wrap it another silly childhood fantasy. Other than that I have done absolutely nothing in the way of advancing my life beyond what it was in 1995.
Sure, I have traveled across the country a few times. I’ve seen some places that were pretty far away from where I grew up. I’ve made friends and acquaintances with people that someone coming from where I came from would most likely never run across. Yet what is that, could I have not done that if I had made an effort to be something other than a perpetual teenager? I try not to dwell to heavily on what could have been, or what should have been, but occasionally those thoughts do creep in. Every now and then I find myself lost in thoughts of what would have been. I think you have to entertainment hose thoughts from time to time, but I am aware that spending too much time on the subject can be a trap unto itself. Sometimes the worst traps we find ourselves in are the ones we build ourselves. I’m trying to avoid one of the best traps I have ever built right now. But the heat outside is so oppressive it seems so much easier to stay indoors and trap myself.
It seems like it would be easier for me with the choice I made. I could easily fall back into the life I left behind five years ago. Though things have changed around the old town, a few friends are still here. Although now they look at me different, I’ve abandoned them before and they suspect I will again. Old lovers look at me with scorn. I tried to build the life they wanted with me with another and come crawling back now only after my love has spurned me. I come back a whipped puppy, a broken man, a dog with its tail between its legs. My pride taken from me, my dignity stripped. I feel as if any mention of the past five years sounds like empty boast, hollow braggadocio. They can see the shame and regret in my eyes. Those who were once my strongest compatriots take quite joy in fall from grace. Seemed like the easy way. At least I have my creature comforts (well some of them); I have cable, a roof over my head, cigarettes, food, no one is asking me to do anything (yet). Seems like the easy way; Guilt, shame, and fear-versus-homelessness, hunger, loneliness and isolation. I call it the Oubliette, a trap of my own devising; to shelter me from taking responsibility for my own life, and becoming more than a perpetual teenager.