Confession: I wish the election were yesterday rather than six weeks ahead. While I'm looking forward to the bit of political theater we call "The Debates," this campaign has become (to quote our Secretary of Defense) a long hard slog. There's very little excitement or surprise, and no fun whatsoever these days. Barring major unforseen developments, there's nothing likely to change the dynamic in the next six weeks. Fuck it; why not pull the trigger now?
There are logistical and of cource legal reasons, but I don't find them all that personally compelling. You might call it an attitude problem on my part -- problem because it's a mindset that can prevent me from making major breakthroughs in my work -- but I'm not going to pretend it doesn't exist. For all intents and purposes my life is on hold, has been on hold for some time, for this event, and I want it over with. The feeling I have now is honestly one of watching the clock in grade school, and in the mean time there are things I'm lacking.
New clothes? Wait until after the election. Romance (or even unhurried coitus)? Wait until after the election. Quality time with friends and family? Wait until after the election. Rekindling the creative process? Decorating my room? Yoga clases? Vacation? Fun? Wait until after the election.
No one's imposing this on me but myself, of course, and no one can fix it for me, but that doesn't make the situation any less intolerable.
It struck me out of the blue this afternoon: I'm bored! I haven't felt bored for the better part of a year. Lonely, yes. Depressed, yes. Exhausted beyond imagination, many times; but not in recent memory have I felt the listless and unfocused malaise that is my childhood nemesis.
You see, before the engine of adolesence gave me angst and pathos to tussle with -- and even after -- I was bored out of my mind a lot of the time. Thinking back, I believe the crushing weight of boredom did not begin to receed until my latter teen years, when I discovered good friends, advanced placement classes, acting, the school newspaper, drugs/alcohol/partying and then moved to New York City (where the only way to be bored is to be braindead or broke) in relatively short order.
I was thinking earlier today how stressed out I am, and how the only thing I can compare it to in terms of magnitude of effort is at the end of my college career when I wrote, directed and produced a full-length play while simultaniously finishing my academic requirements and working two jobs. I was thinking of this not because that was four years ago, during the heat of the 2000 campaign which I ignored, but because I'm having a hard time focusing lately, and in that last week of production my friend Frank dropped me a little care package which included whiskey, powerbars and some of his adderall.
I was wishing again for that pharmaceutical whetstone to sharpen my edge, but I don't know if it would help or not. The situations are somewhat non-analagous. There's much less structure to what I do now, no classes, no real boss, no set understanding of the products which are expected (essays, plays? no no, son, build me a social movement, mkay?). I have no advisors watching over me and offering sage advice. The work is in someways creative, but it isn't stratching that part of me that itches lately. It's a pickle, and I'm not above attempting to use chemestry as part of a solution to the problems I face.
But confessing all this makes it somehow easier; more engaging; less boring. The system works! There are other more hairy truths to disclose in this investigation of "why I'm not a really happy camper" lately, the hariest of all -- as always -- having to do with other people. I'll get there. The process is sound.