What You Expect
Every morning I wake up and I can’t see past my eyelids. I don’t try to plan my day, the map of my life is tied up in the colors of the MTA, who is taking all of my money and giving me nothing in return, quite like this year’s state tax refund, or, I guess, the lack thereof.
I am always late no matter how much time I try to give myself. I lose twenty minutes at the drop of a hat. Which is ironic because I hardly ever wear hats, and for them to impose such a serious restriction on my time seems insane. I have to hope that where I’m going understands that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, even if your day has only just begun.
I wait for a train that never comes when it says it will, but between my own habits and the actions of every other boy who has wanted to sleep with me, that’s a pattern I know too well. Yet I encourage this routine because it’s the only thing that I can see clearly in a city that is always hazy, always changing, always never quite what you expect it to be.
When I get to where I’m going it’s then a question of how hard I have to look before I figure out what I’m doing there. Sometimes it makes sense, and then sometimes I am in rooms with people that I do not understand, or that I deeply admire, and in both scenarios I wonder how it is that I came to be here, only, it’s during that latter that I know I am growing and doing my part to meet this city halfway.
Sometimes when I get sad in my empty apartment I think about putting on the teakettle and leaving it to the flame for just a moment too long so that I do not have to wail alone. But then I banish the thought, because I’ve heard that if you over-boil water, it ruins the integrity of the tea leaves, and I’ve been trying very hard lately to let everything’s integrity remain intact. It’s difficult when you have more conflicting feelings than you know what to do with.
Instead of facing them, you bury them down into the soil of the soul you swore you’d try to coexist with, and you forget the seeds you’ve sown until spring stops by for the week or two we know we’ll get, and all of a sudden you have a fully bloomed garden of emotion, and it’s no wonder that you’re feeling overwhelmed, walking through a world of colors you forgot to remember to expect.
It’s hard to accept responsibility for our actions. It’s easy to sit quietly and let the world pass you by. But what is life without a little failure? At least it means you tried. And that’s a hell of a lot more than some people can say. And no, it’s not a race; it’s a constant competition with yourself. Can I find it in me to take this next step? Am I brave enough to live honestly and courageously, even if what I want isn’t what everyone else tells me I need? It’s okay if the answer is no. For now.
Being an adult is a funny thing because I know I will never feel as old as people my age once looked to my younger self. It's a convoluted sentiment, but just because I am not always understood, doesn't mean I feel it any less. I like to delude myself into thinking that someday, I'll have figured it all out. Until then, I cope by drinking whiskey and rye and stealing my sentiments from classic American pop songs. That's just about as patriotic as I get these days.
Tonight I put too much sugar in my old fashioned, but I think that my subconscious was trying to communicate to me. Too often I hide behind my steel trap mind and my glass encased heart. I am afraid that people think that I am all jutting angles and hard lines, when really, all I'm trying to do is survive.