Friday, May 12, 2006

At the airport in Beautiful Nowhere

Maybe it's the music... this place seems to be lost in the 1980s. So everything I hear brings up melancholy.

I really just feel like crying, to let it all out. My whole life these past few years is crushing on me. I miss my dad. I just want to call him up, and have him reassure me now. But it won't happen. I'm on my own.

I'm the youngest of my dad's three sons. When he died, my mother said to me:
You know, this means you're the head of the clan now.
You see, I'm the one married, with kids. I'm the one with a PhD. I'm stable. But I don't always feel that way.

My eldest brother called me last night (about 1:00 in the morning local time). He was at the airport, returning from a job interview. Here's a guy, who during the internet boom was worth over a million on paper. And now, he's been out of work, having only temporary jobs for a couple years, living off unemployment. We've already lent him thousands. Every month is a new crisis.

He called to ask if I would front him the money (loan is the word he used, but it's a euphemism) to cover a hotel room, since his flight wasn't until the morning. Otherwise, he said, he'd have to just find a bench in the airport to sleep on. It was hard, but the right thing to do, to say "no". Applying my rule, it was easier for him to do without, than for me to provide. Sure, I could cover the cost. But really, I didn't want to. I didn't want to enable him anymore. His addiction is money. I'm tired of hearing him call a job offer for 75 grand "shit" as he did recently, show off his new GPS system, then call me to cover his hotel bill.
I love you, but I can't do it.
I'm in an existential crisis. I travel through life these days, mostly feeling remote, removed from what passes. I'm conscious of every bite of food I take, sitting at the airport, as if it were some object of study, something unfamiliar.
Fly like an eagle... to the sea...
time keeps on slippin slippin slippin
into the future
The music plays. Slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future. Where will I be in a year? No matter. Where will I be in five or ten? I think of road-tripping with my boys. What will we talk about? I miss my dad. The sadness comes. I tear up, and wrinkle my face.
There... she... goes
there she goes again
The music plays on. So many things go well in my life. And yet I feel stalled. I'm unsure of what I want. Ah, the leisure of being unemployed gives us time to ruminate. There's value in rushing through; we lack the time to question, to self-doubt. Is it not so, that for each one there are many worlds? How do we know which fork in the road is right? I guess the harder thing is wondering when the forks will appear. When will I be able to decide? At least if I make a choice, there're new landscapes, new horizons, until that next fork appears.
It matters not how straight the gate
How wracked with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul
It's easy to steer, far harder to set a course.

3 comments:

BrightStar said...

Articulate Dad -- I think your response to your brother was the right thing to do, although it must have been difficult.

Thanks for your candid sharing of your emotions in this post. It sounds like you had a special relationship with your father. I have a strained relationship with mine, so I'm thankful for you that, while your father was alive, he was a good support for you.

Ahistoricality said...

I find myself incredibly self-reflective when travelling, particularly those rare moments when I'm travelling alone, and it's very hard. It's empty time (somehow, even if I take work with me) and there's this sense of purpose and potential....

Wanna Be PhD said...

That was a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your emotions. Yes, I guess we will all see new landscapes and new horizons. If things stop to change, life is over.