The Second Life

Posted on July 18, 2007


Remind me again why I’m here. Remind me one more time why I bother listening to love songs by a twenty-one-year-old boy who lives in Tennessee that no one has ever heard of. Remind me again why I’m awake at 1am when I have a meeting I need to be at in the morning.

I find myself awake at very odd hours with writers’ block in tow. I also find myself perpetully in suspension between three or four different lives. The first being the life that I would be good at living (in other words, the life that I -could- live), the second being the life that I want to live, the third is the one that I probably will end up living, and the fourth is the one that I am living at this very moment.

The first is the life that my county/region sets up for me. The societal ideal, the soccer mom, the life that comes with a minivan included. I’ve grown up as the teacher’s pet type. Why wouldn’t they want me in their little rat race?

The second is the life that would look something like me waking up in the morning, grabbing my keys, maybe a friend or two, and just leaving. Getting in my car and just driving to drive. Drive in my car to listen to music, and driving to drive to nowhere in particular but just to be moving away from where I have been. I don’t have anything to run from. I, in fact, would see it as running -to- something, but very few of you would appreciate what I mean by that. The second life is the one that finds me at the beginning of each morning as a nomad, blowing in and out of towns and cities and metroplexes and villages. The second life is the one that would wake me in the middle of the night to find that I had been asleep in the back of my car. Or perhaps as a columnist or journalist writing editorials in a newspaper of a little town where everyone knows me by my first name but no one from outside of the town knows me any different from a stranger. Maybe I’ve moved to one of the colonies on Mars and I’m kissing a boy as we gaze out at the Martian landscape with Earth as our little, Christmas tree ornament moon. Maybe I moved to Nashville or Seattle to pick up guitar and put out collaboration records with Chad Sugg and De Capulet. Or perhaps I’m a hermit on a mountain in Sweden growing my own food, reading, thinking, and writing a book that no one will ever read. Or maybe I’m living in a Millenium-3 monastery, devoting every waking hour to service and loving others. Or any other crazy idea that enters my head. The life that would cause me to chase the space station as it crosses the sky, and the one where I would rise in the middle of the night mid-winter to walk to your house and then walk back towards mine to skate on the ice rinks that the city made in the baseball diamond down the street at 4:36am.

The third life? Something like getting a degree in psychology, working my way up to be a therapist, writing a book about why so many artists in this country are insomniacs, working in the computer science field, living in a small house with my family, and living our life as I follow my mother’s footprints by becoming a resource to people around me in advice, ideas, time, and love.

The fourth life is something that can only be explained in one word. That word would be my name. If you say my name (God forbid that horrible ’90’s song be reincarnated), whatever comes to your mind is part of the life I am living right now. Inaccurate or as accurate as that picture may be, it means that you are somehow connected to my life and we are connected somehow through little strings. Not so much the string theory, more like metaphysical gossamer. One word. My life in it’s present tense summed up into six little letters.

Maybe I just see life as far too linear way. But on the other hand, to those of you who somehow see those four lives combined, (in my head and probably in reality) I cannot live all four, or both, or some all-you-can-live buffet. There are distinct lines for each life, each path. I am strung between all of them, with my eyes wondering which way I will be pulled, which path I will tread on, or perhaps which line will spring up that I had never even seen before.

“[…] I mean, why am I even talking about this?! There’s no point in even thinking about it.”
“Isn’t there?”
“Isn’t there? What point is there in thinking about this? None of it will ever happen.”
“Says who?”
“Says the thing inside my head that tells people to be pessimistic and not belive that their wildest, craziest dreams will ever come true…”
“Well, there’s a rumor that Pedro’s running for President, so, you know, all your wildest dreams -can- come true.”

“Thanks for letting me talk to you. Before this, I had no one to tell all this to.”
“No problem at all.”
“Even if it’s crazy ideas that come into my head throughout the day. Or night.”
“Those are the best ones!”

Stairway to the Second Life