I don’t want to let things roll off my back. I want to react. To feel, to fight, to see, and believe. I don’t want to be in the background waiting my turn. I don’t want to stand by and listen as the ignorant and selfish try to pull us down and backward. I want to move forward. To progress and learn. To change and be challenged. I’ve been working hard for far too long to fall into step and follow someone else’s lead. Too much time has passed, and my path is deep in the making.
There’s a couple of lines in my mind tonight. From a movie called The Switch. Jason Bateman and Jeff Goldblum are talking, and Jeff has this wonderful, truthful line about what drives a man sometimes.
It goes something like this: “I’ve told you about hungry dogs in the cellar. You know, if you don’t feed them, don’t acknowledge them, at some point they’re gonna get out somehow and do something unsavory.”
I felt like that this evening. Sitting on the couch. Enjoying a little TV time with my wife and kids. Happy to be home and together and relaxing, but at the same time teetering. Feeling that I just needed to get out. Get away. Have a little time by myself to decompress, unwind, get centered again. There are times, for whatever reason, that a man doesn’t feel appreciated. That he doesn’t feel wanted. That he feels absolutely alone even when he is in the best company he’ll ever keep. I don’t know why it happens. I can never predict when it will happen. But it does. And then, I get all twisted up and stupid because I feel guilty for feeling. I feel bad for not wanting to sit and smile and be Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky. After all, the moments I have with my wife and kids will never be repeated.
Not in dream. Memory. Not even in the afterlife. This is it. All we’ll ever have.
But I have to remember that there’s a me in all of this. In all we have. And maybe it’s not a bad thing to get away sometimes. Half an hour in a hot upstairs writing room. Cup of wine. Fingers on the keys. Little bits of inspiration all around me—family pictures, books waiting to be read, an old Woodstock typewriter and all of its ghosts, haunting me. Hunting and pecking or typing in a mad rush of fluidity. Strangers all around that I hear but can’t see.
Maybe it’s best I let it all roll off my back. I shouldn’t react or feel or fight or see. I just need to believe that patience is the key and that waiting silently in the background is as brave as a man can be.
Sooner or later, I’ll get my chance to move forward. To progress and learn. To change and be challenged. And when I do, I’ll do whatever I can to make my own path and take the lead.