April 13, 2010

anticipating the curve or the trouble with island life

I think, for some of us, life becomes anticipation of the curveball. We become pros, able to recognize the signs of the coming curve, the last minute turn...to know the difference between, say, a fast pitch straight down the strike zone and the slightly trickier turn of a curve pitch. We see its possibility long before the twist occurs.

It's the idea that nothing is ever really as it seems, that things never actually go according to plan. We have to keep sharp, be constantly aware and know deep down that even when it seems life is headed on a straight arrow path hurtling towards the arc of the bat when it seems all you have to do is whack the pitch, your golden opportunity, right over the fence or at least straight into right field for a double baser, a twist is possible. Those of us living for the curve, are, indeed, aware. We look for it. Encourage it. Taunt it. Bring it, we say...because we are fucking ready.

We don't start that way. We, the Hank Aarons of life...just as Hank, himself, wasn't lobbing balls over the fence at 3. We grow into it perhaps after enough hard knocks, heartbreaks, or fuckups. We do learn from our experiences but we also work off natural ability. It seems, just as with sports, that some of us are just better equipped. Just as Dennis Rodman worked with raw talent to become the NBA's rebound allstar 7 years consecutively, some of us are born with an instinct, an innate ability to anticipate the curve...a raw talent we hone, like Rodman, to become the best at it. We read the pitch, the pitcher looking for positioning and waiting for the hammer motion, the abrupt force that causes the turn of events to begin.

Anticipating the curve definitely comes with pros. We prepare, always, for the worst. We recognize that everyone is flawed and that conflict, even when unintentional, is inevitable. And, we realize, without denial, that humans, at their very core, are animals whose choices will ultimately reflect their own self interests and that altruism is the rarest bird. We live in the moment enjoying life for what it is because it can go sour in a second.

But, for every action there is reaction and for every pro there is a con...and so it is with this as well. Living with doom just around the bend, to always be bracing for the worst diminishes your hope, a vital part of the essence of every individual. Your hope in the world, in your fellow man...fuck, even your best friends tends to dissipate like lingering scent of a lover on your pillows... We take, I think, fewer risks on opportunities and ultimately, each other. Knowing that eventually each person will turn on you, hurt you to preserve their own wants, needs, or desires, you put up more walls and keep people locked out more and more. I personally can't name one individual who has even come close to reaching my inner workings in a number of years. I let people in just enough to fool them into believing I'm being open. I talk about where I'm headed, music I like, movies I like even the embarrassing ones, things that have happened to me, books I've read or want to read...I talk. A lot. But, if you really dissect what I've disclosed, it's a partial view at who I am at best. I don't tell you how I feel about most things or what scares me most. I hold back in emotional exchanges and rarely let anyone know that I'm capable of crying much less see me cry. In fact, on a facebook application that asks questions about people on your friends' list, someone answered that they do not think I cried at the movie Titanic...oh what a skewed view I give people. I can't even watch Dumbo, motherfuckers. I absolutely cannot. Because...I cry too much, too hard for my own comfort. I don't talk to people, fully, about my problems or at least how I feel about them and I don't ask others for help. It all happens on a base level without premeditation, for the most part, and it's lonely on this island. It's an existence of full solitude without even the trusty Wilson to keep us sane.

I had a problem, a complication several weeks ago. It's ongoing actually and it really scares the piss out of me to know that it's a situation out of my control and in the very in dept hands of others. I lay in my bed the night I found out crying alone. I needed to reach out to someone. I needed to be held and reassured. I needed, quite simply, someone I knew would be there to hold my hand and promise to stay even if the darkest hours of the night. I've built this image of someone who doesn't need that sort of consoling. But I do. And I had no one to turn to...no one that knew me well enough to be any comfort or that knew I needed just that sort of comfort. So, I cried in my bed curled into the well known spots of my island and pulled myself together on my own once again.

There are benefits to taking risks...even on people. And being hurt is necessary to growth, to learning and advancing. In an effort to prepare for all life's twists and turns, it seems I have, effectively and ironically, shut myself off from some of the greatest aspects of truly living. I suppose the first step is complete--recognizing the flaw. Now it's time to let go of the stance...to quit trying so hard to ride the wave and simply let it take me for a ride.

No, the coconuts here aren't big enough to fashion a bra for myself. I'm topless on the island of me.

about me. not really.

dear you,

i don't talk about my child or being a mom. i don't talk about my garden. i won't mention my craftiness (often) or how much i save each week with coupons. if you're looking for that sort of thing, you're in the wrong place.

instead, let's abandon the tethers of domestication for a moment and remember what it's like to laugh at vulgarity and the world at large.

xo,

j

talk amongst ourselves


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