Sober Math

So I’m sitting here, thinking about the mathematics of my life, about how if I’m lucky I’ll have another forty years on this globe.

Forty years. Seems like forever, but I’ve nearly been there, done that. It’s not forever. It goes by shockingly fast, a doppler effect you can’t appreciate until your halfway through it.

And I invariably look at how long it’s taken me to write what little I have written. I do the math because I’m a masochist at heart, intent on torturing myself. They say ideas are cheap. Dime a dozen. I used to horde them when I was younger, as though they were in short supply, finite, perishable. But as I get older, the more I write, and I know they are everywhere.

But it’s not that they are cheep like dirt, like pebbles you collect at the beach. The damn things are dandelion seeds: quick to take root, quick to blossom, quick to take to the wind and start all over again. The fields of my mind are thick with the tangled weeds of stories and instead of running out of fields, the space just gets bigger until I can’t see the border anymore. I’m not even sure it’s in the same country anymore.

And me and my old, rusty lawnmower? We ain’t gonna make it through all that grass. Not in one lifetime, anyways.

In moments like these, I get resentful. At myself, at the world. It just feels so unfair to work at anything else besides writing. But at the same time, my track record when given stretches of time has been shit. Getting better at it, but still.

At the same time, I feel like I’ve reached a plateau. I have a (completely unfamiliar) sense of confidence in my writing. Not that it’s gold shat from a unicorn, or anything of the sort. God knows I need to take a pair of shearing clippers to the stuff. But just a slow growing faith, newly kindled and very precious.

It’s terrible. I dread and I hope, a pendulum that never stops swinging. And I’m running out of time.


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