And here we find our young protagonist …
Eternally alone, as always, but not lonely and not gloomy, strangely happy, in fact, hopeful and …
I always know beforehand if the day is going to be good or bad. In the morning, if I get the milk to cereal ratio right, I know it’s going to be a good day. Overall I’d say the good days outweigh the bad. I’m considerably happy.
I really ought to leave my comfort zone, that much is certain. But as I absolutely refuse to leave my computer chair, the only way I see that happening is if someone places a decapitated baby chimp on my lap.
What of my ambition, you ask?
I still have my ambition. It’s on the back burner, along with shaving, flossing and getting up before noon. Just kidding really. I have work, which forces me up early. I WORK, which proves — almost irrefutably — that I am an industrious, upstanding and virtuous citizen, even excused — on occasion — to indulge in lavish spending sprees and excessive weekend debaucheries. I WORK, it’s okay everyone. Five days a week, at a real job, that pays real money …
And everyone knows that I am a day dreamer there, at work. Say something to me and I “put it in the mental queue.” What you said will register, eventually. My mind will process it, after I process the thoughts at the front of my mental queue. In some cultures and societies, they call that being slow. I prefer the term deeply contemplative. I can’t help it! There is so much to think about, my queue is overflowing. There is just so much to think about!
Airplanes, for starters. Horses, bombs, trees, Elvis Presley, God, pens, the fundamental nature of reality, dinosaurs—I love to think about the dinosaurs. I’m a day dreamer! I record my thoughts on paper, even while working. I take notes on life. I observe things. Odd I never could bring myself to take notes in the classroom, yet I impulsively take notes outside the classroom. I take notes on life.
“It’s a writer thing,” I tell my co-workers, and they look at me queer. (Bluecollars! Cretins, all of them!)
“Chris, your problem is you don’t think,” a most venerable friend once told me, years ago, after discovering I had left a cigar burning on his kitchen countertop for hours.
That sort of struck me when he said that, in regard to something purely trivial, but it was clearly not a trivial remark, judging from the tone he used. I thought for a long time that was plausible, that I didn’t think as much as other people did. Contemplating that in the years since, meditating on it, ruminating, I had an epiphany one day.
“My problem isn’t that I don’t think, my problem is that I think too much!”
It explains why I can stare at a wall for hours and be perfectly content, absorbed in pure conscience. But if you asked me later what color the wall was, I’d be darned!
I’m mentally distracted, oblivious to my immediate physical surroundings, always elsewhere. When I’m here, I’m there and when I’m there, I’m back here. But I’m at least somewhere. I’m always somewhere.
Not slow, deeply contemplative.
Everyone acts like they’ve lived before, but I haven’t. It’s all new to me. That’s it! I’m not over the novelty of life yet. I need time to think and soak it all in. It’s all very interesting.