It’s been a lean summer since departing from a life of baristadom at the local cafe that now ceases to exist.
The eviction notice on the door, the dusted relics of a once thriving hub–even the last artist’s hopeful show–all stand abandoned by an owner of 18 years who exists now as a local rumor. (Nobody’s seen her in a while, but they’ve all heard about where she’s been).
In truth, this is the kind of touchy subject that keeps me from wanting to write so publicly. Is there a backlash for stating that you’re angry with your ex-boss because you feel you’re in mourning now? (Anger born of helplessness.) What can I do when I see another person so dear to me running on empty in self-destruct mode? My M.O. was once jump in and acclimate, but now it’s dodge that grenade.
Too many metaphorical grenades have flown on the wind.
The shrapnel of wars past digs into me, reminding me how this next one will sting, too. I can’t help but mourn preemptively, pray for the wind to shift and regroup.
There’s a one panel comic strip by Callahan my sister gave to me decades ago. I stuck it on my fridge for years and laughed at it every time I stepped in the kitchen. It was a picture of a homeless man spanging on a corner who’s just had this epiphany: “Oh my god, I forgot to get an education!” It is as hilarious to me now as it was all those years that I kept it, which I did as a source of inspiration. It’s never too late in life to realize what you need to do for yourself, that’s how I read that text. However, my sister insisted that it was detracting me from my goal to someday return to school by rendering the whole idea a joke. Or something theoretical and deductive like that. So I got rid of it (although it has long since seared its iconic image and words in my memory).
When I am feeling low, as has been the case all-too-often lately, I turn to humor.
In my saddened condition, everything seems to be great comic fodder. That old strip in my mind shifts to “I forgot to be a comedian.” That thing I said I wanted to become at age 3. When everyone else was trying ballerina on for size, or other more palatable career fantasies, I was leaping onto fireplace hearths with a poker for a microphone and I actually wanted you to laugh at me, uncle!
I remind myself that it’s never too late in life to realize what you need to do for yourself. Grenades be damned!