Thursday, March 10, 2011

Living in Real Time

I think the hardest part of growing older is realizing that this is it. This is the time you spent your whole life working toward and none of it is anything like you desired...nay! You DEMANDED! You knew. It was just a matter of staying strong and focused. If 99 percent of the people who tried to make it in the Arts, you were going to be the one...who didn’t make it. Somewhere out there was a person for you never found him. You can’t really think about the future beyond Medicare and Medicade...I’m already on Social Security Disability. If you think about the future, you can be pretty sure it involves things you don’t want to think about. Like Death.

So, here we are in real time. This day. Today. Just me. Toujours Seule, Baby! I really should get to the gym. It’s raining. The woman upstairs, who lost her job two years ago is spending another 12-14 hour day, seven days a week, cleaning her apartment, walking with heel-banging purpose back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, slamming things down forcefully to show that THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TASK THAT MAKES HER LIFE WORTH...something. I’m not kidding. She does it from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day. She is trying to qualify for Disability. If she’s using insanity, she has a  good chance.

Some of my friends spend their lives on Facebook, posting articles and videos. And if you have the right equipment, that can be a form of creation, but it’s not going to pay the bills. Despite the fame of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, it’s not an accomplishment to leave behind and it sure doesn’t earn you a living. I just lost two friends because I got too close to a third and maybe it’s time for all of us to take a break and go to the gym. I have to pay attention to the people there, talking to them and making friends. I have to volunteer at my church and, damn it, be humble. I’m not famous or important unless I give something to others. That’s all I can do right now.

I am submitting plays and attending Dramatist Guild meetings, surrounded by younger people who think it’s all going to happen someday. I try not to discourage them. I am an example of nothing and they are the shining hope of tomorrow. They have to be. It’s a necessary part of survival, of growing up, of making it here with a bit of savings, a car and an apartment...with an upstairs neighbor going slowly insane above me. I wish I could tell her to stop worrying about the dreams and listen to the rain. The apartment’s clean enough for now.

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