Today is year twenty-four.
year twenty-three started with a kiss and
ended in a blur — doing the same thing,
every day, for eight hours a day, must be the closest
thing we’ve got to time travel. it also proved to me
that time-times-productivity is a biological constant
equal exactly to one: in every attempt i’ve made to break it,
i fell asleep with the light glaring into my eyelids and
woke up the next morning bloodshot and defeated.
i still wake up every morning bloodshot and defeated.
year twenty-four is the year of startups.
it is either a pregnancy or an infection
— i’m still not sure which — of the brain
with a vision of fruition so palpable that
on paper and in talk it feels already half-way there.
but it’s a desert mirage, and the projected steps
to the first oasis invariably wind and self-multiply.
you need far more water than you actually have
and you know this — all you can think is
at least i’m not doing it alone.
year twenty-four is a responsibility to the next of kin.
it is the peculiar realization that though you failed
to figure out this corporeal existence for yourself,
you are already enlisted to sell the joys, pains,
lessons, and open questions of this mysterious ride
to the next generation of life. the truth is,
i feel i was never fit to and i may never be.
i don’t see what others see in me when i live
each day with a permanent kernel of skepticism
embedded in the back of my mind.
but if i could teach bryn and chase only one thing,
it would be that mom, dad, every other human being, and I
were born no different than they: a blank slate potted plant
thrust into a world of contagions ready to re-sequence
their minds atop the incumbent bricks of
second-hand superstitions and stale facts,
cultural norms and strong opinions — that all
parasites of thought masquerade like truth
as their means of continuing to survive.
year twenty-four is living down the street from your
5th grade friends again. somehow old constellations
resurface in your life and when you recognize them,
they seem to say you’ve changed far less than you thought.
it’s unclear to me whether we were brought here by
the hidden variables of our subconscious or
the coincidental tides of a random process,
but i suspect i may actually live to die never
having left one place — my eleven year old self,
making crass jokes on the pavement, a bit too sure,
not careful enough, walking around the courtyard
with friendships that never really had a beginning,
but felt like they always just were.
today is year twenty-four.