Friday, June 3, 2011

a little push

What started as a casual "I'll just stop in and have one drink" with my co workers, ended up in a couple with hours that went by and in the end, me and a director at my school sitting, talking.
"I feel really content right now."
She shakes her head "no" and wags her finger. Then takes a sip.
"You're too young to be content."
My stomach flips upside down because I know she's right.
"Yeah, you're right. I just lived in chaos for so long that right now..."
"You're enjoying the peace."
I nod and she gets it.
"Would you ever go back to California?"
"No. I can't live there. I'm someone else there. I'm taking care of this person or that...There's no room for me."
"That used to be me."
"I mean, I just don't know what's next. I know I'm smart."
"I could see you as an academic."
"I kind of want that, but the money scares me."
"College professors have a nice life."
"I know."
We finish our drinks.
"Thanks for the push."
She laughs and we leave the bar.
I wish I could say I went home and contemplated this conversation, or even that I went home and picked up the enormous amount of work I need to read, or that I went home and started writing, but I did none of those things. Instead I ran from it and looked for a reason to be out, to be distracted. I go directly to another bar where I tell Mike we need to figure out how to become rich. I have another drink. I offer to go on a search to find Mike eye drops. I continue to move. I come back to the bar with Visine and then convince them we should get something to eat, so we move again. And I order a huge meal way too late and stuff myself  with food and another drink. On the way home, this sadness creeps in. The feeling of being underwhelmed by myself. Disappointment. Fear. At night I dream that I watched a friend kill another friend's father and I am keeping a secret. The one friend does not know her father is dead yet and I am with her while she patiently waits for him to show up to her wedding. Do I tell her he is not coming? Do I tell her he is dead? Do I tell her who killed him? Do I wait until I am questioned by police and then tell the whole story? I wake up three times and each time fall asleep back into the same dream. There is something I want to confess, something I want to admit ,but I'm terrified to do so. What will happen to my friend and her family? What will happen if I tell the truth? In the end I resolve that I need to tell the truth because even though it will be painful, I know my friend will live in agony not knowing how her father died. So I make up my mind to sentence one friend to death and another to the liberation of knowing the very painful truth.  I finally jerk awake out of my bed, move into the living room and see the rental application for an apartment, the rental application I do not want to fill out. I am frozen right now. Knowing that life is changing, that the next few months will look different and I want to run the other direction. And I don't know why, suddenly fear has overtaken everything.  I have been discovering things that I want lately and then pretending that I don't really want them. Is it the fear that I won't get them? The fear that when I do it will be taken away? I don't know. All I know is that the ground beneath my feet is shifting. Like Little Foot in The Land Before Time. I need to pick a side of the splitting earth or I'll just fall into the river of hot lava below.

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