Waking at daylight. Not ready for the day yet a quick walk down the hall and flop back into the restlessness. The sun is up and won’t go away for the day has begun without me but the yard calls me out. I know my duty.
Someone is cutting the lawn. On a Sunday? I stand braced in the beams of sunlight that will change as the day goes by. A shadow thinking the ponies need new shoes but not today.
A few folk venture out with their kids and dogs but everyone seems distracted. Is this really Sunday? Is this the last day of the month? Tomorrow the bills get paid and those people will still be walking.
There is no song this morning in my metronome, only bumps in the road. Such a regular route autopilot has turned on and only a conscious action will remind me of breathing and looking and listening. There and don’t remember getting there.
No little red haired girl but her car is here. Is that stalking? The usual contents in the cart and the typical Sunday crowd of women looking disgusted at being at the store looking tired and worn. Even yoga pants do not help.
Some old guy asked about the bike even though the manufacturers logo is all over it. Don’t know how I attract these folks but they really just want to talk about themselves. Is riding a bike such a fascination or a right of passage?
So after my chores, comes the realization that this is what LIFE is. Or at least this is what LIFE is now. Everyday.
Wake up from a restless sleep, stumble through the dust and dirt and heat and crowds to accomplish the minimal task, only to end the day with another scratch off the calendar. The daily chores of feeding and washing and pooping become just that; chores.
Us old guys can now have time during the waking hours to reflect on LIFE that has been and maybe forward looking with a bit more wisdom or at least bad experiences. Every bad decision makes a wonderful story.
So what is this LIFE thing? You didn’t ask for it. You just got dropped into it. There are no instructions but some moral, social patterns that rely on you as an individual to follow what everyone else is doing and you will be all right. Is LIFE the status quo?
The adventurers or writers or other great minds we are influenced about in history did not follow the status quo. So is LIFE about being safe in the cushion of the status quo following the lemmings or to strike out and go where no one has gone before?
This question doesn’t really involve you until puberty. Before that you are only doing what the tall people say to do for they feed you and provide you shelter. The rest is pretend time.
Our imagination, whether sponsored by fantasy in books or movies or television, can fill our time between sleep and sleep with wonderful adventures and colorful characters. When a box of crayons or some rubber soldiers could fill the day, it was pretend time. We created stories and adventures while being surrounded in comfort of the status quo.
BAM! WHALLOP! BANG! In comes puberty and not on is your body stretching into unfathomable shapes but your mind is starting to pick up on the world around you. Suddenly you realize pretend time is over and this is reality.
And so it goes, we do what we have to do to survive. Good stories.
Upon reflection are these decisions, choices, or reactions to the status quo our legacy? Did we become responsible citizens of our community and vote and clip coupons and shop for the best gas prices and watch the late night television until we couldn’t stay awake?
Were we just bouncing around in the pinball machine, decisions overruled by the flippers until tilt, or did we march down a path of destiny? We search our genealogy for a path but only find a map. We assume after so many years, our collections of stuff offer examples of our taste and wealth and prestige to the status quo. Do you like my new car?
Maybe, just maybe, we never stopped pretending? This space called our world and everyone in it is all aliens and had to be coped with. How better to deal with the unknown than to pretend. Make believe, fantasy, fiction whatever we name it; we cope by pretending.
In the long run, if we don’t write down our experiences or relay our accomplishments or accolades, we leave it to others and soon they will forget. As history records our time, only a few will be scrutinized or even pondered when so many more have built ships and car and highways and fought in battles or committed crimes or raised families or had ideas no one else ever noticed.
While everyone is standing around your coffin and say how good you look at being dead, will they remember the time you jumped ship to Europe with your cousin or how he threw you out of a plane to lean how to parachute? The facts of time and place have been recorded and will be posted for all time, but the nuances of LIFE can never be explained.
In the long run, as they say, we follow different paths with different encounters and we make different decisions. Whatever knowledge or wisdom we accumulated through our journey must mean something?
Na, I was just faking it.
Even getting out of school, which was my prison, and pretending to be in love or faking intelligence to promote and survive in the ‘real world’ before settling back and watching the world go by was only faking it.
From the thunderheads I saw this morning, seems there will be some rain tonight. Break out the frozen pizza or maybe some flap cakes, but there must be substance to devoir before a nice long rock on the porch with cool drinks and silence. LIFE is good until the restless sleep.