the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you,
~ Robert Palmer
Overlooking 69th Street from my friends' Rayner and Angie's apartment, the refrain from Robert Palmerís catchy tune played over and over in my head, in my heart, and in my soul even.
Apparently, Iím infatuated with my camera because I had another 1000+ picture day and was one step closer to driving myself crazy with this creativity drive I'm in.
I think I'm going to have to see a doctor about this.
While looking down into that small pocket of a street between York and 1st, I imagined jumpingóa miraculous jump that would allow me to fall gracefully with a lithe landing upon the pavement where Iíve walked before.
Lest anyone misinterpret this little dream, Iíve never-ever even contemplated ending this wonderful life sooner than later, that is, sooner than necessary. Necessity, being wholly subjective of course.
I also fantasized about checking myself into psychiatry ward on the 11th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering a few skips up the lane. Of course, these contrived delusions would not qualify me as even half-crazy enough to merit an examination by one of the staff members specializing in broken things like heads, hearts and dreams. I imagined the chief resident simply rolling her eyes, and even giving me a bit of a sneer for having wasted her time.
I watched myself drag my feet back to the spot where I had fallen to lie down in the middle of the pavement and close my eyes.
Admittedly, I have this proclivity toward obsession. Ever since I was a child I could focus on one thing until I had exceeded the limits of normal children. Iíve long had this habit of collecting and organizing and knowing everything I could about certain subjects.
Over the years Iíve learned to simply indulge it, rather then attempt to thwart the flow, that deluge of endorphins that overcomes me whenever I am in the throes of something I love.
Today, that proclivity thrives in the form of my writing and photography. Lately, it's been the latter. And lately its motivated me to push my limits more than ever.
I think the only thing that has come close to challenging me in this manner, the only thing that has swayed me so easily was adolescent love. Little apart from loving little Jeanie and the ever-blossoming Janet in seventh grade has prodded me so tenderly, charmingly, swayingly, swooning and woozily into the kind of infatuation that prods me to reach above and beyond what I know to be possible.
Alas, the good doctor has told me straight-up that Iím no longer eligible for such love, that I no longer qualify because I'm too old and strung out and widespread and tied to this web of adult obligation Iím rolled-up in. I guess than, Iíve got no choice but to throw myself into taking pictures.
At least, for now.
I was compelled to go for a run this morning and although I knew I was running around the park, I still wasnít sure about where I was running toÖor was it that I was running from?
When I was back in our backyard I stretched in the crisp morning fog. I yearned to just sit and sway on the swings a while, but I was afraid that once I sat in that saddle that I would not want to leave and that I would undulate in a pendulum of thought for hours.
The mist reminded me of grade school days when I often walked to school by myself through a cool sheet of California fog.
I tend to believe that I had a rather happy childhoodólots of playing in the mud with my cousins, riding my banana-saddled bicycle across dirt and pebble lots without a helmet, climbing about and hanging out under giant trees of wonder that offered baskets of succulent purple figs for the taking, rock fights with the bad boys from the other side of the railroad tracks, and hours of watching orange, black and white caterpillars crawl amongst the fragrant green sprigs of milkweed.
I have equally fond memories of junior high as well: a time rife with the fond memory of reading Steinbeck, Hemmingway, and lots of Shakespeare; lots of computer and science classes with other ďspecialĒ kids; chess games that seemed to never end, and many adolescent girl crushes that never went beyond spin-the-bottle at birthday parties.
High school also proved to be some of the happiest years of my life, for being at an all-boys prep school allowed me to both focus on my studies and participate in extracurriculars like theater, track, and community service. It was also when I lost my virginity to my first ďlove.Ē And perhaps best of all, was that these years sparked an ardent love for literature óUlysses particularly whet my appetite, for while most of my classmates relied on Cliff Notes, I was compelled to read cover to cover of is this masterful labyrinthóevery page, every incomprehensible paragraph and insane enigma of wordplay offered by Mr. James Joyce.
I entered the house via the backdoor and sat on the steps going down to the basement to take off my shoes. Suddenly, I felt haunted and hounded and overwhelmed by a certain unknown force, I placed my face in the security of my palms and hid there with my eyes closed, hoping that whatever I felt would soon pass over me.
After a few minutes the pending gloom still lingered, threatening to overtake my better sensibilities. I persevered and after taking off my sweaty socks I got up to take a shower upstairs.
On my way to work I came to the conclusion that perhaps Iím going through my third life crises. The first was when I turned 30, the second came around 35, and now, ever closer to the sharp edge of 40, Iím feeling the pressure of realizing meaningóof being able to readily answer the question of "What have I done with my life to make it worthy?", of being able to smile and affirmatively answer that "Yes, I have indeed made the right choices" and that I am living the life that I deeply desire to lead.
The unusually overwhelming feeling Iíve had lately is that ďI want more.Ē
Usually, Iím the guy encouraging others to be happy with what they have, and certainly I do have a lotóa great job that challenges me every once in a while, that utilizes my skills in a creative fashion, and that is well compensated as well; thereís also my family that loves me and that I love immensely, and of course there is that handful of friends that have I have maintained through the years; a house, a home, a passion for life, an uber-awareness of my surroundings, a generously giving and supportive wife; so what more could I want from life?
And yet despite all that, I readily recognize and tender, Iím still feeling I should be surrendering to something else, following a different bliss.
On second thought maybe this mild meltdown Iím having is all but the physiological undertow of melancholy caused in the wake of my excesses.
For not only did I stay up a little later than usual to watch another episode of Ali G and put a little in the pipe in his honor, but I also drank Prosecco and Ale earlier at the 7-year-oldís birthday party I was at, overate, and perhaps had a a little too much fun in the sun while I was dancing and taking pictures of the roller skaters and bladers dancing in Central Park.
In fact, I feel that at the close of summer I may have overdosed on sunshine itself. So that now, at the turn of the season, I am reeling from the darkness, feeling a bit woozy from the sudden change.
It could also be that maybe Iím just experiencing camera-withdrawal. For I decided, once again, that I needed to catch up with myself.
This feeling of yearning for my camera especially hit me as I came into the city this morning and there was this awesome display of fog and bright morning light covering the broad bevy of skyscrapers.
And then, as I traversed the metropolis on my walk to work, the gorgeous light coming through the buildings seemed to rub it all in even more. For the benevolent sun was basking the city in a golden hue that made everyone look beautiful
Despite the brilliant passage to the office that should have instantly have lifted my spirits, my gate has reminded slow and contemplative through much of the day.
Admittedly, it also may be that I know exactly what's bothering me, but I am just making excuses to cover it up...Maybe, perhaps, quizas, the world will never know.
Nonetheless and allthemore, Iím confident Iíll get over whatever Iím getting over soon.
Somehow, I always do.
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