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The Age of Irony


That night, as I walked in my slumber
I waded into the sea strand
And I swam with the moon and her lover
Until I lost sight of the land
I swam till the night became morning
Black sail in a reddening sky
Found myself on the deck of a rolling ship
So far where no grey gulls fly
All around me was silence
As if mocking my frail human hopes
And a question mark hung in the canvas

—Sting, The Wild Wild Sea


I’ve held my breath for so long, way past the part when the mind goes into blind panic and the chest screams. Certainly this would be interpreted as a good course of action for someone deep under water, but as complete insanity if they were standing on dry land, surrounded by nothing but excellently breathable air. My clothes are terribly dry.

The metaphor isn’t literal, you don’t eventually pass out. You simply forget.

I woke up this morning dream-thinking about writing. A fictional story was sprouting spontaneously. As soon as I was awake, I stamped it out like a trespassing spider. My eyes filled with tears of sadness and loneliness. I alienate myself even as I cry out how our culture marginalizes each of us.

This is my war. Triumph and defeat simultaneous.

*   *   *

Dad’s birthday was a couple of days ago. I met him, but I don’t know who he was. Then he died.

I grieved not for him but what he could have been.

I ache for a mentor, an elder masculine presence whose wisdom I can admire and respect. But men are suspect, treacherous and selfish. Enemy. What does that make me?

I feel like a demonic unicorn.

I took myself to breakfast, a self-date. I tried to feel victoriously solo, but felt out of place. The restaurant was buzzing with people, none of them alone. They chatted and smiled at each other. Looking around, I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of one of the big glass windows of the cafe. I looked sad and tired.

I ache for a pretty smile to sit across from me. But women are stories that I get lost in, or shiny emotional livestock.

I feel like a vampiric squirrel.

I bought books today. This either means I will devour them or they will sit and collect dust, a decoration deceptively reflecting an air of intellectual prowess. It’s about a 50/50 probability.

But they are self-help, the thing I’m worst at.

Photo Credit: Public Domain/Pixabay
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Thomas Linehan April 28, 2014, 8:33 am

    We have the same editor and from what I’ve read there are as I’ve said, “worms in our brains.” Don’t know your situation, but as a 65 year old the world flattens as you get older. We write because our past dictates us to release the pressure. . .we have something to say. Once the pressure is released the stories get better.

    • Cab April 28, 2014, 10:26 am

      I’ve got to do the work. The work is all that matters. I know what the consequences are for ignoring the work. Thanks for the chunk of wisdom, Thomas.

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