There was a time when I actually tried much harder, worked later, was somebody of self importance. After hitting my head against the wall for years on end what seemed like an upward ascent of power was actually a virtuous downward spiral. Consciously it became my comfort zone, an abyss of self loathing, fatty rich foods, copious amounts of wine and the predation of luxury goods.
I finally took the leap. I had to abandon my lot in life and take these erstwhile indulgences elsewhere. I needed a community void of psychopaths, narcissist and sociopaths slithering about the building with their cups of designer coffee, pulsing smart phones, access badges and sycophantic smiles. The competition for most vile was tough out there. Who needed it? Not this emotionally disturbed careerist.
Abruptly, I evacuated and landed in a bucolic, fantasy of lifestyles. Here I was planted, like a shoot in the vineyard, a vine ready to flourish, produce fruit, make a fine vintage of life. However pleasant, my new community was void of something else. Outside perspective. As refreshing as this hamlet of wine country may be for tourists, visiting relatives and vagrants, to me, this microcosm was a fantasy peppered with nightmaric frustrations only a neurotic like myself could discern. And I grew up here. Amonsgt the vines, I saw punk shows, stole liquor, played hide and seek. I remember harvest fairs and ice cream trucks and kick ball in the street until sundown. I don’t think I ever fathomed how good life was because all I wanted when I reached a certain age was to get the hell out of here for the city. As trite as it may sound, I’ve come full circle.
Inside this lovely bubble is a comfort zone where rarely there was a ruffled feather before a nonchalant nicety emerged. It is rather vapid although some might consider the naiveté charming. If you ask me, it gets didactic. Here I am a shark in a wading pool of guppies, out of place, under stimulated and the damn guppies are barely an amuse bouche. What does this all mean?
It was time to recallibrate and lead a common life. Could I do it? For Christ’s sake, I was now a mother! Egads, what novelty to raise your child in such Mayberry. I had only ever used my “Baby On Board” suction sign on the rear window of my car when I needed to go “solo incognito” while driving in the carpool lane. Now I was parenting, volunteering for kindergarten art class and chaperoning field trips to the retirement village for bouts of moribund Christmas caroling. Now that was a kindly shock to the system. I digress.
To paper mache the bigger picture, these are stories of transition and transgression from one life to another. A detox, a come to Jesus, decluttering the affectations, a bit of Green Acres meets Apocalypse Now (as you can tell from my preamble, I’m truly insufferable.) These stories are not autobiographical but some of the anecdotes are. Why hell, you may even ask yourself, I cannot relate to this, I have no business reading this, my God, why waste my time on such drivel.
The practical answer: If you’ve read this far, you’re in too deep to give up now. Could get better, could get worse, let’s take a gamble.
The philosophical answer is: Those who indulge my practice of literary prostration are steps closer to heaven through introspection, and by golly, I bet you 72 virgins, there’s a bunch of rich fatty foods, fine wine and perfectly crafted cocktails not to be missed in the afterlife.