Jul 17, 2007
Somewhere in my years of considering myself a habit forming to people, I forgot that I wasn't. I was walking home from work when I realized that talent and personality are completely bereft of the soul involved in being worth anything-- monetary or otherwise.
No one is making exceptions for me; they willn't nor mustn't. I had a knife, a wallet and a set of apartment keys in my pocket. My bank account was empty, so I could say that all I had was on my person. One of my favorite album was being sold on ebay for $200 on vinyl. Everyone wanted that and nothing else from me.
A kid, unmistakably from NYC, bumped me-- with plenty of room on both sides of the sidewalk-- as he walked past. I had removed my headphones at that point. No one could tell me anything that I didn't already know. I mean, how does one tell his friends and compatriots that he has no discernible skill set? That his life will affect nothing save for a few months of friendships here and there? That once, only once, and now maybe twice, had he ever felt like he mattered for more than an hour at a time without the crushing depth of failure coarsing dull pain through his visible veins-- carving holes in his pockets and pushing air to dry out his eyes?
The kid kept walking, and I followed him to his stoop. There, his sister buzzed him in when he called. He said he lost his keys. I stood and waited for the light to go out in his upstairs apartment. He would be safe, of course, and then I walked back to my own apartment. There, a loud whirling fan awaited me. My roommates were sleep. I watched a television show on the ocean's salt. I read for awhile.
Then, I picked out a record. My sinewy arms flipped through rows. My swimmer's legs shook as I squatted. My eyes sagged in my head as if weighted by my poor decisions of the past two years. I felt heavy and wrong. Awkward in my room of several years. I never picked out an album. I turned of the TV. I closed my book without saving my place. I opened every window I could. I turned off my phone.
There is no future worth having. There is no point to mousetraps. There's no leftover tacos in the fridge. There's nothing worth saying that anyone wants to hear. The world is an empty ear without decoration. Forever.
Once, my friends and I sat around a campfire. I had nothing to say about my life except I will be a failure. I need a new blanket. Mine is sweat-stained and full of holes now.
At some point, a man can look directly into the future and see that nothing good can come of him. I plan on quitting everything. Then, and only then, can I be understood as the horrifically indiscriminate window that I struggled this long to be. I am not a habit.