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time in a bottle

This is going to be one of those posts.

Friday the Thirteenth always makes me think about anthropology. It makes me wonder how a bunch of hairless apes managed to scrape together a star-chart that guided a belief across the years that occasional patterns occurring in the iterations of that chart are bad news. After reading this article about our effect on the world, I am inclined to believe George Carlin's take on the Earth wanting plastic.

Eight years ago, I was out of college, trying to find my way. I had some very concrete goals, but a lot of complications and roadblocks towards achieving them. I was living in a house designed and built by Frank Loyd Wright in Westchester. I bought my first car that I owned outright. I wanted to be a dad, and thought I was on a pretty good route towards the accomplishment of that path. I got a job as a network admin at my then significant other's workplace. Who would have known how it all would have turned out? I thought I knew. This was the first point after taking my life in my own hands that I learned life is never what you want it to be, no matter how bad you want it to be something. The willow survives the storm because it can bend.

Seven yeas ago, I was living in an apartment in Yonkers, in the building timaeusdaspirge now lives in. I was living in what was once the living room of bubbabobobbrain, and her erstwhile donut-crazed roommate, who would find herself pregnant within months. I was working as a consultant. I was on the road a lot. I was trying to bridge the gap between a world I had chosen for myself, which was denied, and a world which was calling to me, which, ultimately, I denied. Who is to say which was the wise decision?

Six years ago, I was living in a great apartment in Woodlawn, having a grand old time. In less than a month from this date five years ago, I would get into a car accident which would ruin my financial prospects for years to come, and largely ruin the quality of my life in may ways. I was between worlds a lot, and still kicking around the country. I started talking to my family again for the first time in years. I got a new job, which got me more money, and had me commuting into NYC. It was a world of fresh horizons. I bought a new Chevy Cavalier, which my brother now owns.

Five years ago, my world was a totally different creature than it was a year before that. I still had the apartment, and the job, but more-or-less everything else was fucked. This was the October that I burned myself fire breathing. One of my close friends and co-workers had died, and I was still wrestling with that, among all my other demons. It was this week, five years ago, that I was tasked with cleaning up his files and wiping his computer. By my birthday in this year, I would accumulate over 34,000$ in debt. That was not student loans - no deferrals or tax write off there. I have since paid it off, which is what I consider to be one of my greatest accomplishments to date.

Four years ago, I was doing research for an in-depth character profile of a vampire I wanted to play in an online RPG. I have retained the notes about this character as a possible novel. I was living in Mount Vernon, NY, in the childhood home of E.B. White. My then-fiancée and I were undergoing the first stress fractures in our relationship since she moved up from Texas a few months prior. I remember that Halloween being one of the coldest Halloweens I ever went out on. That October was one of the hardest months I have ever had in a relationship, while still trying to keep a relationship together. Ironically, things would not fall apart for two years, give or take a few months.

Three years ago it was a Monday, Columbus day. I didn't have the day off. I did a queez about famous phrases. I was living in a slum apartment in Yonkers by the river, right up the street from where my sister used to go to school. We wound up living there after moving out of Mount Vernon rapidly and expensively. I bought my first Tempur-Pedic bed, which is the most money I have ever spent on furniture, ever. The rent was cheap, and I thought the place was pretty cool. This was before my then-fiancée got followed home by some local people who tailed her to work, and tried to run her off the road. That would happen in a few months, followed by another rapid and horribly expensive move to Spanish Harlem.

Two years ago, I was having a generally shitty time of things. I was getting over being really sick. My now ex-fiancée had split with a lot of heartbreak, some gut wrenching, and more than a little misdirection. I was in a bad way, not just financially. I was sleeping on a futon, as she kept the aforementioned bed. Halloween of this year, mightywombat would move himself, and his too much stuff up from the greater Atlanta area. Now, ironically, he is looking towards moving to Florida. I was listening to too much Tom Waits. Within three months, I would leave my position as a full time web app developer to come to my current job.

Last year I was talking to the internet, and set up my newly-acquired dual 20-inch monitors. Now, I am considering liquefying my entire rig for an uber-laptop. I had moved to Washington Heights, living with an old college roommate and his (now) wife. The apartment isn't grand, but it is spacious. It is an easy commute for me to work. I spent this weekend at the wedding of one of L.'s longtime friends and co-workers.

Today I am getting over a really bad migraine, which has more or less incapped me for the last two days. Over the summer, L. moved in with me, but it doesn't seem like we are going to keep living together. I have reached a comfortable plateau at work, but one which I must be careful of. I still don't have a car, and am glad for it. I have probably tripled my outlines and ideas for stories and books since the beginning of this time line, even to the point of having clusters of thousands of words of some of them. As some would describe success, I have a lot of it. As some would describe failure, I have a lot of that too. Balance is still the holy grail of my existence.

This is not really a full synopsis, but it was a listing of the bigger points that came to mind as I was going through all this. What I find interesting, is that despite overcoming setbacks, some of them rather significant, I don't really know how much ground I have gained. That has to change.


Oct. 17th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Grass is always greener
It may not feel like you have progressed or accomplished anything but through the setbacks and overcoming them you have a sure footing for anything that comes in the future. Getting to where you are now from where you have been is a great accomplishment. I look at my own life where I must say that I do not think I have had much hardship and on paper have accomplished significant goals, but all the "ground I've gained" seems like a house of cards. Impressive but on the verge of total collapse at any moment. I only hope that whatever life throws my way I can handle, whereas you sound like you can handle whatever comes your way.

My comments to you, for whatever they are worth:
Keep the writing ideas coming, finish them when the ideas stop.
Settling on the career/life will never happen so stop sweating it (I am a hypocrite!).
If you figure out what you're working towards, do you know what you'll do if you reach it?
Oct. 17th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
thanks for the introspection on accomplishment.

in terms of goals, my life seems to spawn distraction endlessly. if i decided as a concrete goal that "i want to make a million dollars", then, in the process of meeting that goal, i will doubtless have another half-dozen to be done by the time i get there. my problem right now is that i have a lot of compass points, but no solid direction in which to navigate.

hypocricy is oten the greatest source of wisdom - much the way anonymity is the greatest way to pique poignance.


Steam Escaping!
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.

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