30 September 2015

Kickboxing Was Not The Sport of My Future

I am at home now. Ostensibly at peace, sitting by an open window with the sounds of the night drifting in on soothing whispers. Home for me being the mythical cottage by the ever-restless Mare Metaphoris of my own imagining. It was but two short weeks ago that I was on the shore of the very real Atlantic Ocean, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with my not-quite-so-Wee-anymore Lass. A fine day trip to that seaside town, with waves curling in under a sky of hazy blue. She was laughing. My heart was growing. Then the waves broke and carried me away.

I was squatting at the high edge of surf when the mirror broke. Staring out to sea, I had dipped two fingers of my right hand in the water, brought them to my lips for a taste of home. The salt and iron tang was a hammer shattering the glass of the illusion I had maintained until then: That I am for this contemporary world, there is a place for me here. That was the nutshell: for too long I had struggled with the notion that I can fit in, make my way in a culture and society with which I feel so out of sync.

It was no surprise, in hindsight, that my ocean side revelations happened so close to my impending half-century birthday, swiftly bearing down on me in roughly two months. Truly it is a source of wonderment and incredulity that I have made it this far, considering how much time I have frittered away on trying to figure out life in lieu of truly living it. A root cause of my simmering discontentment, awakened by the taste of seawater on my tongue.

For a few moments I teetered on the brink of a soured mood, flailing and trying to avoid falling into a human-shaped chasm of discontent. The day trip would have been ruined. The gravity of it tugged at my emotions. Familiar turf, it would have been, and its own cold comfort. A flash of sunlight coruscated off the waves, temporarily blinding me. In that second or so of non-vision, the old man in the back of my head spoke.
"You didn't realize until now you're Lloyd Dobler, that guy from the movie Say Anything. You liked him a lot so many years ago, but you didn't think you were him. You know what really bothers you now? You are Lloyd Dobler, and he is turning fifty."
Then he laughed, a big wave sprinted up the shingle, and my cargo shorts were soaked for a good three inches. My daughter squealed in glee as she ran up the beach fleeing the waves. She laughed, too. I snapped out of my funk. The tang of salt air filled my lungs, and I grinned. Maybe the old man was right. Even if he was, I am Lloyd but I am me, and we will make sense of the world even if it is not quite for me.

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."  

---Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) in 1989's "Say Anything"