Coldplay’s Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall croons in the background, as I sit here, on a post modernly challenged leather sofa in Harlem broken up into two. These days Apple TV and two Columbia University graduates ( with jobs -___-) keep me sane. New York is still the same, most days I know I have exhausted myself here, and on the days when I muster the strength to look otherwise… it is different. The days are starting to merge into each other, like a really bad 60’s psychedelic film. This is what happens when you are unemployed, transient and accepting. Accepting in these terms , means that you have refused to challenge a situation, or your spirit has grown weary, as most usually will after fighting constant battles without victories or even failures. Victories or failures reflect that some sort of result has been achieved, and when the answer is transient, uncertain, non existent, you realize why uncertainty is more painful than results. I usually don’t like to dabble into personals on blogger, but today is different. As I hop from one interview to the other, portfolio in hand, rehearsed , crammed ,and forcefully understood personages of the various companies in my head, I wonder what it all really means. What does it mean to drop from a place of knowledge, ambition and expectancy , a place of parental grace, into a void that screams ” uncertainty” . Two years ago ,I wanted to go to Law School. I had written lists, and plans had been made, all this done to bury the little voice of dissent that screamed inside me. This was not the path for me, and both my head and heart, agents that are constantly at war with each other would agree that it was time to put the borrowed dreams away and begin to live a life where my 10 year old self would nod in approval. To get there, this proverbial utopia my 10 year old self created, requires constantly applying and attending interviews that scare the pipe dreams out of you. If you are like me these interviews are minutes of hell. Each response to questions asked is followed with thoughts of things that coud have been said or done. Your now is not enough, the shoulda, woulda, couldas jump over fences in your head.
Progress is slow, yet everyone around me seems to be skating by like an ice princess on steroids. Wedding pictures profusely attacking FaceBook Walls, changed profiles indicating the end of this transitory period for some as they settle into graduate school, and some landing their dream jobs. But there’s the rest of us, who did it right, according to the book, and we still remain seated on the ironical cushion of life, where the blows seem to hit the hardest. I am bruised, from the proverbial beatings, because as fast as they come, I still can not seem to keep up. And if the tale of God being a kid with a magnifying glass is true, then this ant here is burnt to crisp. But let’s not get existential here…
Sitting on concrete stairs that burnt my ass today at the Lincoln Center in New York, I watched a man get on one knee, the weight of a life of expectations on his shoulders, a ring in hand, a believing smile on his face, and a stutter in his voice, while he asked his unbelievably surprised girlfriend to marry him. The dagger runs stealthily through the heart here, as she screwed her face into an ugly kaleidoscope of negatives, took a step back and recoiled. I could have sworn that the devil clapped on his revolving flaming Ikea chair in hell. Rejection had come out of its hiding place and embraced someone else. His face is still impressed in my memory now. Passers by who had almost mid stopped with the hopes that she would say yes, walked away quickly, faces turned in the opposite direction, giving this god forsaken man a moment to revel in the privacy of his rejection. I turned away too. I got off from those concrete stairs, wiped the film of concrete off my burned ass threw my empty Chobani yoghurt cup in the trash and walked away. I still felt sorry for myself.
Someone is playing a really terrible game of Russian roulette here , and the bullets are not missing. This isn’t a cry for help, there’s a lesson to be learned here. Life is like one big game of planning , irony and chance. Determinism and Fate are brothers , they love and hate each other and we are all caught in the middle. Most days we pick one, and when he has betrayed our trust, we dutifully rely on the other. I want to end this in my usual way with a line that closes this up, but I can’t, there is a reason why I labelled this experience as transient.
“ It is never too late to be what you could have been” – George Bernard Shaw