When things never get better, when do you give up hope that they will?
I’m not there yet, but I’ve been on the edge of that chasm for a long time.
For most of my life, I’ve alternated between times when I have to struggle to get anything at all done, and times when I was on task, organized, and convinced I could make permanent change. Note that these have never been “manic” times, just times when I was operating closer to the norm, closer to what I should be, what I might have been had it not been ripped out of me as a child.
But those productive times are always followed by collapse. To-do lists curl and die like leaves in a fire. Lonely chapters gather virtual dust on the hard drive, awaiting fellows who’ll never show. The bed forgets what it’s like to be made. And my chin thickens with whiskers, a barometer of my efficacy in my own life because I do not want a beard.
I have one now.
I had planned to get rid of the damnable thing today, because the lovely and exuberant Laurel Snyder, another local author, had organized a social gathering of literary minds at a neighborhood bar. I’ve been excited about this for a couple of months, looking forward to getting the hell out of my hermit hole to meet a bunch of new people, unwind, maybe make some new friends.
Instead, I’m on the couch, bearded, in my Batman Begins pajama pants (black with rusty orange batarangs) with a hole in the seat, gnashing teeth over the gunning down of an Arizona congresswoman and nearly a score of others, and writing this.
Because taking positive action, like going to the gathering, requires an exertion of will. To exert will, you have to have motivation. And while I’m motivated to some degree (as I said, I’ve really been looking forward to this), it’s a motivation without core. The missing core is the answer to the question, “What’s the point?”
It’s not that I don’t think I’d have a great time. I’m pretty certain that, had I roused myself to go, I’d have had a splendid time. It’s that, after years of disappointment in so many things, splendid times and successes all seem so ephemeral as to be simply pointless.
Something inside me says, “You’d have a great time? So what?” And I find it harder and harder to debate the little bastard.
Anyway. Laurel posted today that she’s planning another of these things in March. Hopefully I’ll have my head out of my ass by then, because I’m pretty sure I need it.