Monday, May 5, 2014

Fear Of Threshold

Did I have enough fun while I was single and childless ? Did I misspend my youth adequately ? Did I party in a way that my 90 year old self will look back and crack a contented smile ? No, across the board, no.
    Sure, I had fun, I partied, I had a gas at times. Most often though I sat in a room with friends who held guitars and passed reefers or passed reefers and watched bad movies or funny movies or good movies, but movies all the same. At the time, that's what was done, that's how the friends gathered. Looking back, what a waste of getting wasted. What a load of boring non-events I sought out night after night. I should have gone dancing when I said I didn't feel like it. I should have made a pass at her, him, them when I had the chance. I should have said, yes, I'll visit you in Vermont, yes, I'll eat those mushrooms, yes, I'll meet your friend, yes, I'll go camping.
    Too often it was sorry, I don't feel like it. In reality I was nervous, anxious, afraid. Afraid of novelty. Fear of threshold, I called it. I'm afraid of stepping over that invisible line and into a new world. Once I'm in the new world though, big deal ! Oh this ? Why was I afraid of this ? This is nothing.
    It wasn't the new world I was afraid of, it was stepping into it that sounded my alarms. Why is this ? Why should novelty be such a terrifying thing ? Devil you know will bore you to tears. I was often so bored and it's true what they say, it's because I was boring. I still may be boring but I think I'm actually a little less so nowadays. We'll see how this plays out.
    I was bored, I sat and scribbled while my friends sang songs together. I was too nervous to sing along. I wasn't good at it, so I drew to the beat. I was a visual artist insisting on hanging out with this bunch of musical people. I could have been sitting around a table and laughing and drawing with other drawers but they weren't the ones who were my friends. It's complicated. Yes, there is regret.
    I can't get into all the shoulds right now because I'd run out of pixels and life is too short to boot, but I should have had more courage. I should have got up and left. I should have sought out another scene. I should have stayed home and I should have gone out. I should also cut myself some slack, now I know about that whole youth is wasted on the young thing, 20/20 hindsight and all that. At the time, all I was doing was hanging out with my friends. I didn't think that I was actually making decisions or that I had options or choices or any of that. I was hanging out with my friends. Passively. Repeatedly. Boringly.
    Man, get out there and try out people. Go to parties, meet strangers, buy your own drugs, sing out loud even if the whole world knows you suck because by doing so you won't. It's not to late for me, near forty-six and father to a baby boy. I'm learning new things and trying things out, slowly maybe but surely. And I don't want this kid to be too afraid of this old world of ours. I won't push it but I hope he falls farther from the tree than I did.