starting 30

I live in dichotomies
and reflect on the mile stone
of reaching another decade
around the sun.

I feel old
and then I don’t
feel old enough.
I listen to jazz
like a good intellectual
and say things like
Miles is so existential
and I want
to punch myself
in the face
when those words vomit
from my mouth.

I think about
the first 10 years of adulthood
and how I don’t remember
the first half
because maybe nothing happened
but rather, I was dead.

And the last half
has been a zombie
trying to be human again
melting the ice
that had gripped
a tired heart.
A heart thats still tired
but still beating.

I’m still chasing pipe dreams
and I hit that pipe every day
because while everyone else
was alive at 22,
I was drowning
in seas of gray,
further and further
until the bedrock
of the sea welcomed me
to my new home
where I stayed
shackled in muck
and blinded by darkness.

Only now,
did I find the surface
and gasped for air
and
only now,
do I feel like I’m actually
in control of myself.

Only now,
have I accepted
the role of ruler
of my life.
and I think about
how I’m not where
I considered I would be
at 3 decades deep
into this journey
through space,
but I think it’s okay
because even though
like Andre says,
everyone around me playin marriage
or paying child support
or buying houses
I can’t cope –

My tinder profile
is a sea of mirror selfies
and camo
with dead carcasses
and advertisements of hard working, homeowners
who’s only hobby is sports,
not playing, just watching
and its like –
is this really enough for people?

And if it is enough,
why isn’t it enough for me?
because I’m constantly hounded
with questions likes
Whats wrong with you?
When are you are going to get married?
When are you going to have a baby?
like there’s nothing better to do.

Sometimes I feel like
I’m being childish though,
with my pipe in hand
and day dreams of adventures
of a life
that doesn’t included houses, camo
or apple pie –
Because I’m chasing something bigger,
and sometimes I think
it’s a waste of time
and, perhaps I should acquiesce
to the kool aid before me.
Give into my consumeristic tendencies
and buy a big box
to put my camo shit in
and close the blinds
and the rest of the world away from me.
But I’m not ready
to nail myself
inside a coffin just yet.

And it feels like
everyone else wants me
inside these boxes
so they don’t have to worry,
and so they can tell their friends
she’s OK because,
she’s has the correct mile stones
accomplished in order
while looking at me to say
well there’s still time…

I hear people say
you don’t act 30
and I don’t know
what that even means
because what does it mean
to act 30 when I don’t even feel it?
like should I be honored or offended?
but mostly I don’t give a fuck
and maybe that’s what being 30 is.

the ship v

Another installment of The Ship! You can get caught up with parts I, II, III, IV!


It was decided at the meeting, that we wouldn’t bother the fully immersed until we knew what was on the rock. We decided we would send whoever volunteered, to investigate. I, of course, along with Ansel, chose to go. Opal elected to stay behind, she would continue the maintain the ship and monitor us. From there, another 50 agreed to accompany us.

We spent several months preparing for our departure while the ship meandered closer to the rock. Our androids continued to send back information about the planet. We accounted for every foreseeable possibility; we may not survive the journey, the landing through the atmosphere, how much power we need, the possibility of hostile life and the very reality, we would likely never see this ship again.

Our rocket was stocked and we were as ready as we could be. I was beyond thrilled but admittedly, even then I was scared about what we would find. What would life look like there? Would this place welcome us or would we be invaders?

We strapped ourselves in and began our initial checks. We would be in the rocket for several weeks before we actually landed on the planet. I didn’t want the ship to be pulled too strongly into the orbit of the rock, in the case this is all a big waste of time and resources. So, we set sail into the vacuum and set our aim on the blue and green rock before us.

Being in the rocket, was worse than the ship. There wasn’t anything to do, but wait and try not to let our fear and anxiety get the better of us. It was like telling ghost stories as kids, describing the utter terror of the unknown.

None of us had ever actually landed a rocket anywhere. Ansel and I had run through hundreds of simulations in our preparation but a simulation hardly compares to actually doing it.

Structurally, we knew the rocket would probably hold up through the atmosphere. We did not, however, know what we were going to land on. The ship would shake and rumble as it catapulted toward the rock from space. The exterior would catch fire in spots and I imagine we looked like a shooting star, crashing into the side of the rock, if anyone had been around to witness.

That’s exactly what we did, smacked down in, with catastrophic, cacophony of metal. I guess we use better brakes next time.

I don’t know how long it was before I heard Ansel calling my name and shaking me. I woke up, still strapped to my seat. His face was bleeding and my whole body ached.

“What is that?” I croaked through my helmet. My body felt so heavy.
“The gravity is a bit stronger than we expected but you get used to it. Take your helmet off,” he replied.
“Your face is bleeding,” I said, removing my helmet and cracking my neck in the process.

“What was it they said it that old movie? Just a flesh wound or something? He chuckled.

“How can you laugh and make jokes? What happened?” I asked.

“We crashed.” He said blankly and then “I don’t know how long ago, I’ve just come to myself. I don’t know if anyone else is okay or not.”

I began to unstrap myself from my seat and remove my suit.
“Can you pry the door open? Check on the others? I’ll see if I can reach Opal.” I said.

Ansel helped me to my feet. I was shocked to find nothing was broken but it certainly felt like everything was. Ansel went to the door and open the panel beside it to activate the manual latches. I got to work on the radio. My hope was minimal that I could get anything from it, the entire flight deck was dead but ideally, I could re-route power from somewhere.

The door from the flight deck creaked open.

“Oh…” was all I heard from Ansel.

“What is it?” I asked.

He said nothing and I felt something on my skin for the first time in my entire life. What was it? I walked over to him, his eyes locked on the other side of the door, a golden light was hitting his face. I have never seen light like that before and what was touching my skin?

I stood next to him and turned to see what he saw. A comfortable warmth hit my face as I was bathed in the same golden light. It was air on my skin. Real air for the very first time.

It took me a moment to realize the rest of our rocket had torn off and was scattered about around us. That explains why we didn’t have any power. I wasn’t expecting the rock to be so loud and quite at the same time. You would hear the air in the trees, as it whistled through. The colors you could see that are just here and not made by humans.

From a distance, we saw the passenger deck of the rocket. Around us, where tall structures that seem to fit in stark contrast to the wilderness that was working to consume them. These structures were old and falling apart but they jutted from the rock and touched the sky. They were all around us in various forms of decay. The ground was made of rock in many places, but green hair and leaves exploded from the cracks in the rocks. The green crept up the sides of the structures as if to lay claim to each of them.

“Well, we aren’t the first.” Ansel said, “something was here before.”

I didn’t say anything for a long time and just stared at everything before us.

Finally, I said, “Let’s see if the others are okay.”


Until tomorrow, friends!

the internet

My dad doesn’t understand the internet. He knows how to use email and I’ve even seen the man use Amazon to order things he can’t find at the local store. He’s not totally out of the loop.

The other day we were talking about the world. I referenced before about how the world is statically safer than it’s ever been and he asked how I knew this. I told him I read about it online and he scoffed at me. Another time, he asked why I’m a vegetarian and when I went into detail about the ecological impact farming animals for human consumption has on the planet, he responded: “you’ve never farmer so you don’t really have any idea” in spite of doing a ton of research. Obviously, I don’t know what it means to be a farmer like he does, but I can still read and understand data and a bigger picture.

I’m apart of the older millennial generation which means I didn’t grow up completely with computers or least not as saturated as they are today. I did witness the birth of the modern internet and kids these days have NO IDEA the dial-up struggles we went through, the turmoil of having to learn how to do makeup from a magazine or worse yet, when Google was kind of useless as a search engine.

I distinctly remember spending a day in the computer lab in high school and being taught how to use Google. We had a paper to write or something and had to use so many internet sources (but not Wikipedia). Isn’t weird to have to be taught how to use Google? You couldn’t just ask it a question back then. You had to be specific in keywords in order to yield the results that were relevant to what you wanted.

The first silly video I remember going “viral” (which may have just been my friends) was called Forehead Shavecut and you can still watch it on YouTube. Except, it was made before YouTube ever existed and that sounds as absurd as saying “before time existed”. It’s hard to comprehend a time when anything you wanted to know or learn wasn’t at your fingertips. The internet answers questions, you didn’t even know you had (like how sharp cheetah tongues are).

I’ve lied on resume’s about my skills with Excel because I can just Google how to do something and learn it in under 5 minutes. I can teach myself how to write code, how to build websites, and even how to change a transmission. When I had my own house, I taught myself how to sharpen the blades of my mechanical lawn mower (you know the old school kind… no motor, just blades).

That’s the part of the internet my dad doesn’t understand. In his mind, traditional media reigns supreme and he thinks anything on the internet must be misinformed or a lie or whatever. He doesn’t seem to get that yes there is a lot of bullshit on the internet and if you’re not using your noodle, you will get bamboozled but there’s also a lot of bullshit in traditional media. An entire Wikipedia page exists that highlights CNN Controversies and there’s a page for all the major news outlets.

I mean it’s a generational thing. Having lived away from my family for many years and coming back to them, I’m extremely sensitive to the fact we have very different lives and outlooks on the world. It makes me really excited to think about my generation taking over in the next few years. I know everyone complains about the millennial generation (I’m going to complain about the next generation when I’m old/ I already complain about younger millennia’s) but I think we have the capacity to really push the planet in a more positive and sustainable direction.

Having knowledge at our fingertips is incredibly insane. At no other time in our human history, have we been able to call up anything we could possibly want to know. We used to keep encyclopedias at our house. We had 2 sets and neither of were printed during my lifetime. That’s how we got information or you’d go to the library and get books about a subject but now, you can just type into Google “how sharp is a cheetah tongue” and it will give you thousands of videos, pictures, and articles about a giant cats tongue in the same amount of time it takes you to blink and it blows my damn mind.

I guess those are my thoughts for today. Bit of a struggle bus today, I had no idea what to write about. Until tomorrow, friends!

fomo

When you look through the adds on Craigslist for room-shares and room-mates, you see a lot of things like “executive suite” (wtf does that mean), and “seeking female roommate in need of financial assistance”. I don’t know why people have to be so weird about these things. It should be easier to find reasonable accommodations without playing a guessing game or dealing with creep looking for a live in maid (sexual companion).

I remember one time post college, I went to check out a room for rent. A creepy man, upon meeting me, said “oh I thought you were going to look different from your voice on the phone”. How do you even respond to that? What exactly did that mean? He kept saying he had another place available that was out of my price range by a lot. When I told him that, his response was “well we can figure something out” ….what? I didn’t rent the room or ever follow up with the creep.

The internet can be a dangerous and toxic place to meander about. I was looking through instagram today and saw my old room mate post a picture of herself in Thailand. She’s in a bikini, looks attractive, lives in California, runs a macrame business and apparently travels around. I don’t know what she does for money. I do this though, sit and scroll through social media and see people’s lives that seem to be everything I want in my own. They’re interesting, do interesting things, know interesting people, have interesting jobs, live and travel to interesting places. Meanwhile, I work at a grocery store and live on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with my dad. Oh yeah, I’m 29.

It’s easy to get into this mentality of “gee why can’t my life be like theirs?” or “why does everyone else have everything I want?” In the back of your mind, you know no ones life is as perfect as the filtered reality of social media. One does have to admit that even though their lives aren’t perfect, they’re still on a beach in Thailand and you’re still just at your dad’s house, writing a blog post.

I meant to take a break from social media. I deleted all the apps off my phone and was doing well for a couple days. I guess I got bored or maybe I wanted to show someone something, who knows. The point is, I ended up with all back on my phone. I didn’t have a facebook for years but I created it again to keep up with events. I guess I don’t have many events to really justify the amount of time I waste on it and the FOMO it gives me.

Last night I saw Nosferatu with a live band playing music to the film. It’s the first silent film I’ve ever seen, which is weird when you have a degree in film studies. It was fantastic and extremely intense. I don’t know remember the last time I was that involved with a movie and it’s an incredible way to tell a story. So, maybe I don’t have to be on a beach in Thailand to have some pretty cool experiences in life.

I guess those are the only thoughts I have for today. Until tomorrow friends.