We could be dead, but we aren’t — we’re right here. Sometimes I look back on my short but long yet strange however boring life and think, “I could’ve died”—the histrionics balancing out the tightrope act of life. I think about death a lot. Death is a lot. It happens. A lot.
I also think about life. I think about living. Life is a lot. It happens. So much. Life is such a beautiful and tragic thing. To think we’ve been preternaturally created with such a jarring capacity for cruelty and kindness is overwhelming.
I think about how grateful I am to have survived what I did and I’m glad that what could’ve killed me, well, didn’t, and what should’ve killed hasn’t, and that I’m living, finally—breaking forth from traumas and childhoods, aggressively forging some sort of compromise between nurture and nature.
I’m so grateful and overwhelming thankful to my family. To my family and friends—fictional, digital, and real. I love you so much from dial-up to DSL, from flesh and blood to the ties that bind, so much stronger than biologically linked co-dependencies. I love you so much.
I’m thankful this year to be somewhere in between. I once described my life to a friend as “the most oddly overwhelming peculiar series of events where the good and the bad come in pairs.” I am thankful to what has sucked me up because without those struggles I wouldn’t find the rare air so sweet.
I’m on this weird cusp, you know? I’m somewhere in between, you know? It’s like right now, if life were a club called Momento Mori, I’d be dancing to a song called “Carpe Diem” and it’s a real banger. Even if there’s just water in my cup I’m lifting it, dancing in my circle, alone yet happy, surrounded by people I love—I’m happy.
It’s odd to write this to you. To say, “I’m happy.” I haven’t been in a long, long time. I’m happy and I’m struggling. I’m happy and I’m here. Do I have to be happy to have this profound sense of gratitude? No, not at all. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out if I’m okay, if I’m fine. The truth is I’m not sure how I’ll know but I’ll probably write 20k more words about it.
Sometimes I think I’m needlessly dramatic like when someone you’re talking to via texts suddenly starts to use punctuation and it throws off your digital intuitiveness—it’s unsettling. Those suddenly curt letters portending disinterest, so unnerving.
I’m thankful for these motions, rituals, and off-off-off-Broadway performances I go through. I’m thankful to the madness and the hysteria. I’m thankful for these chemical imbalances and these blemishes on my skin because without them I wouldn’t be able to tell you who I was with such ferocity and pride. I’m happy for this off-beat sense of humor that haunts me. Someone once texted me, “you find a silver lining in everything, a joke where there should be none.”
I think life’s a joke, honestly. It’s kinda one of those side-splitters. It’s one of those lip-pursing, brow-furrowing jokes. Life is the joke I’ve been telling after I introduce myself at a party and whoever laughs I’m friends with for life. Sometimes no one laughs. It’s a good thing I like to laugh at myself, at my own jokes. Life is being on stage at the Apollo.
When I laugh it sounds like a wind bellowing through an empty house. The floorboards shriek and it’s a haunting thing and I laugh a lot. It’s one of those laughs you have to hope you’ll go out with but then realize it’s not your time yet and you sigh because you’re still here.