Secret Pop

Dec 28, 2002

One A.M. has a way of sneaking up on me.

I tell myself I'm going to go to sleep at a more reasonable hour. I've got things to do. I need my rest. And yet, night after night, I glance at some time-telling device in a state of complete alertness and realize that it is one A.M. and that once I've done with my many pre-sleep rituals, it will be four A.M. or something similar and I will again be on my way to a day of wondering whether I might have amounted to more if I had bothered to get a good night's sleep and have a complete breakfast.

I don't believe in breakfast. I know people the world over insist that it's the one thing that will keep you from death or idiocy. But I just don't buy it. I love breakfast food. I will happily eat it at any hour of the day you please. I just don't make any special apportionments for the taking of a meal before my day begins. And I get a lot done, as such things go. Ask anyone who knows me.

There are a lot of things I don't believe in. And not for the sake of being contrary and not in a state of "anymore." I just find that many time-honored bits of advice -- many generation-affirmed rules of life and how it's to be lived -- are just not applicable to me. I like folklore and wives' tales and spooky mumbo jumbo about superstitious nonsense. But I just like it because it amuses me. Not because it provides me with a basis for making important decisions in my daily existence.

I think I just don't like rules. I'm not a rebel in the classic sense. But I don't like doing anything just because I'm supposed to. I feel myself pushing off the expectations placed on me the way my family's dog wriggles out of a santa hat we try and tie to her head. "It doesn't belong there!" Amen to that.

I wish life -- or my life, to be more specific -- could be lived without limits. Without pragmatism. Without fear. Without guilt. I wish the days would be hotbeds of opportunity for me. Vast expanses of adventures not yet had. I wish I could live my life in a more linear fashion. And in higher gear. And without access to the reverse setting at all.

I also want to fault myself less for wanting to be kind and generous or for wanting to do a good deed. The idealist in me is melting away like a salted slug. I want to belay that process. I want to buy the idealist in me a drink and see where the night takes us. She's a goer when you get a little of the devil's juice in her. So I hear.

I find poetry from time to time. In the most unlikely places. There is poetry in release and in forgiveness and in sorrow and in shadow. There is delicate verse in accidental confessions and deliberate ones. There is the turn of a lyric in the occasional moment of splendor. Just as there is in the moments of despondence. I am as needy as I am needless. As desirous as I am restrained. I am as surprising as I am dependable. And I am as unfinished as I am complete.

I am done for now.

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