“party or moonlight?”
Hindsight can be a dangerous thing.
In youth, I dreamed of joining the Peace Corp, traveling the Third World, sipping champagne and dining on cracked lobster atop the world-famous World Trade Center while Manhattan below spontaneously combusted in song, dance and revelry. If I broke a few hearts along the way, so be it, I had a mission, I would live to the best of my ability and make the mother of all acceptance speeches when I won my Grammy, Oscar and Pulitzer.
I just wanted to do something with my life besides watch TV, read “Teen Beat” and “Tiger” magazines and daydream about making it with Ian Mitchell of the Bay City Rollers. Hell, I didn’t even know how to finger myself until college, by accident, in the midst of another boring KHON-TV news program, half laying on the couch, feeling a tickle down there.
Besides not having any idea what to do realistically, since I had no noticeable, viable skills much less interests that could be parlayed into a career, a passion, I waited for lightning to strike, an avalanche to crash, a boy to fall madly in love and make the decisions for me.
Every single achievement happened either by accident or by force, forcing myself to get up off the couch and do some work, write a draft, put the double-AAs in the tape recorder and be the kind of top-notch ace reporter Liane could only watch from the sidelines (high school nemesis, long story).
In the past week or so, I wonder if maybe the boy crazies had more to do with avoidance behavior than truly my life’s mission. It’s certainly easier to live a life, any semblance of a life, with someone else in the driver’s seat, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook, responsible for the roof, the meal, the 1.5 orgasm... If he looked decent enough, nobody would look at me twice as a social leper or worse, trained monkey with Anna Nicole tits.
Thirty-nine years later, and I still haven’t done anything with my life. Maybe I don’t remember anything worth having done. Maybe I can only see my routines for the drudgery. Maybe I need a fling, a lightning storm, an avalanche.
I think of the definitions in soul mate, society’s and the outcasts’, and I wonder where I’ve gone wrong. Did I follow the trend, wipe his nose, check his ass for hemorrhoids, watch the TV Food Network in hopes of distracting him from the 1.5 to –0, to settle for safe, protected, occasionally entertaining friendship? Should I seek further guidance, until the right Damian Lewis comes along, who wipes out all memory, shame and longing until there is only us, on that cedar planked balcony before the sea and under the moon?
My handful of friends have lives. Some claim they don’t, in a series of workshops designed to impress but really masking denial of some deeper yearning harkening back to my childhood Peace Corp idealism. Conferences, homework, birthdays, gardening, something else out there that keeps them rested, fulfilled—at first glance.
I shirk those responsibilities, feeling alien to every last form of human contact. I’m eight again. I really must still be asleep, in a pneumonia-induced coma, my parents hovering over my fevered chasm, for months in this state of unrest, where my body lies but my mind moves forward to this place where I appear older but inside, I’m still a child afraid to get in the driver’s seat, gather candles, books, games, be out there doing the stuff my parents have done without complaint (much).
Foreign are their cocktail parties and talk of health insurance claims.
Whereas, I still giggle at a slip of boob and the R-rated punchline.
Wear your mascara and lipstick, girls, and your finest pair of heels. What?
I wanna be eight again and start over.
I wanna fall in love because I’m falling in love.
I wanna run through that door, stumbling in his arms and losing myself in adulterated bliss.
I wanna die knowing every last orgasm was really, intensely, genuinely felt under that moonlit night in an eternal party of my dreams fulfilled.
Not an accident.
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