Some time ago, I wrote about a dream sequence; a white tiger chasing me all around. Sure, there is symbolism in the tiger. I could spend a bunch of time analyzing it, but it's all kind of bullshit, you know? I mean, yeah, our dreams are somewhat a reflection of our subconscious desires, fears and thoughts which we often let affect us in this way. But the truth is that we wander aimlessly, for the most part, through each day.
I have a bunch of habits; routines I keep to make each day seem somewhat simple to get through. I get up, I eat the same foods, at the same times, do the same things; every. single. day. Nothing changes. Once upon a time, I was different. Wild. Crazy. Living life as if there were no end in front of me and no past that haunted me. But we wake up. We get into a reality that makes us feel haunted; makes us fear the future.
I once saw a quote that some wildly large percentage of men over 35 suffered depression symptoms because they feared death. As each day passes, we are one step closer to that ultimate finale. Unlike a television sitcom, that finale is not some neat little wrap to a stupid love story. It is painful and gruesome.
Yes, like all people I fear death. Some will tell you that they don't fear death, and to that I say bullshit. They do. Faith; deep faith; the kind that makes people say that they look forward to "eternity in heaven" is still just a disguise for a fear of death. We have to feel that there is something better, because if not, how fucked up is the whole concept of existing? Yes, this stuff has been rehashed throughout the history of philosophy.
Truth be told, we are all just trying to die on our own terms. It gives us some illusion of control. As if by altering our reality, we somehow control our reality. Sure, I can control the health I experience between now and the time of my ultimate death, but that death will still occur. I may be whatever I may be up to it, but when it comes, it will be its own form of ugly.
When I look back, like everyone, there are regrets and there are moments of joy.
Without a day in September, who the hell knows where I would be? I once had a sergeant in the Marine Corps tell me that I was the type of guy that you read about in the papers; dies before his 26th birthday. I laughed. Somehow, that seemed to be prophetic. Just two or three years later, I was living in LaGrande, bartending and bouncing and fucking just about anyone that said yes. Nothing else mattered. I was making up for lost time.
A girl I had met was pregnant and moved away because I was such an asshole. And I responded by trying to bang every woman in town. I was in pure denial and was not ready to be an adult. I was fucking almost 23 years old. But the moment I held my oldest son, everything changed. I told him once that his birth quite literally saved my life.
Well, saved may be dramatic and hyperbolic; his birth likely extended the length of my life. And that's the deal, a life is never saved - only extended. On that September day, my life was extended. I am so grateful because memories were created.
But what do I do with memories? History? Life as I know it? I write. Sometimes those words will be profound and sometimes they will be fleeting moments of time that have no meaning to anyone. And that is okay, because at least I am doing something with the extension I was given.