Archive for September, 2011

it’s all been said before.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2011 by darryl zero

I paused, mid-sentence in conversation with my roommate, having decided in that instant that I ought to—no, had to ignore the fact that my car had been hit while parked in the DMV parking lot not four hours previously or that the three-quarters tank of gas was almost a year old and just fucking leave. Eliza—after four years of intermittent driving, she finally had a name—needed to go for a run.

Or, to be more accurate, I needed to heed, albeit temporarily, that ever-present call in my mind to get the fuck out of Portland.

The sun had settled behind the hills as I finally made my way toward the outskirts of Corvallis, grazing a large pond that reminded me eerily of my beloved hometown’s oft-maligned Lake Laverne while throwing all kinds of colors along the cloudy sky as if such a picturesque location actually needed a reminder of its luminous presence. I actually had to resist the urge to pull off to the side of the road, hop out of the car and sit on the trunk to watch it. It was the kind of sunset that defies any attempt to capture its beauty, the kind whose pictures don’t really bring their viewers into the moment that prompted you to want to remember it in the first place, not unlike how young women look in that first great day in spring and certainly evoking the same kind of reaction. I caught it in sidelong glances as Eliza raced through the countryside, coughing traces of old fuel out of her system and cursing me for letting her sit idle for so long.

I’d been bound by my own desperation and despair for too long, kept city-bound by my own inability to pull myself from the muck of my own stagnant circumstances, and I cursed myself for being so inept as to make myself feel impotent. Don’t have too many of these left, I thought to myself, as I pressed the accelerator, engaged in what was, for me, at least, a fun game of cat-and-mouse with a mid-90’s Oldsmobile Cutlass. At least, I hope I don’t. It’s funny; I tend to find adulthood both exhausting and depressing in its pointlessness, but the definitive end of one’s passage from childhood into grown-up-ness—the creation of children—is the main thing occupying my mind as-of-late.

It makes sense, I suppose—I’ve always been obsessed with endings and beginnings and ways to make them better, or perhaps it just means I’ve given up on what few dreams I really had left. Because, despite the fact that I’m actually closer to some of the things I’ve dreamed about my entire life, it seems like everything that puts me in the vicinity of that which I want comes with twenty or thirty more obstructions. I suppose it comes with the territory, but it doesn’t make it any less grueling, and it doesn’t diminish the desire to retreat into moments in which, however briefly, I was enough. Which was certainly why I was headed to Corvallis—I needed to see someone for whom my myriad failures actually proved useful.

I had a good time chatting with my former student. As it usually does, it reminded me that I’m no longer relevant—as if I ever were in the first place—and there is a newer, more vital group of people in the world, which—for good or ill (mostly ill)—is theirs. In any case, it reminded me that, even as my own doom-saying nature gets stronger and stronger, I actually do have something to offer…whomever. Whatever.

Careening back toward Portland at an early enough hour to make me wonder why, yet late enough to make me feel burnt out, I silently thanked my own reticence that I was still in a situation to be able to make random trips like this, and remembered some of the profoundly awesome shit I’ve done in my life. Like drive three hours to have sex with a beautiful woman in a state park, or sit in the orchestra pit playing music in Las Vegas, or sit in a room with my friends Darius and Adam, wondering whether or not they were doing anything that would get me arrested, or moving in with my current roommate.

And it told me that I need to find something else to do.