Sunday, September 18, 2005

Part Deux

According to Eastern Time Zone rules, it is a brand new day. September 18, 2005. Whew! Seems like yesterday I was impressed when it was 1970. I feel like such an old fart. I'm ready for plaid pants, a golf shirt, white crew socks and black tie shoes. Get the walker Mabel. I gotta go check the mailbox.

In 1970 I didn't have one foot in the grave. Long haired hippie loser, happy as if I had a clue. Blue jeans, barefeet and tye dyed T shirts. Worrying about next week not in my mind. Remembering last week an impossible task. In 1970, I lived in the moment. In 1970 I existed second to second. In 1970 I lived for the weekend. Bars, broads, and where I could score some good weed about all I worried about.

That was then. This is now. Now I sit here wondering why I felt that aimless existence was a dead end. From where I sit now, the respectable life that latched onto me often feels the same. At age 26 or so, I awoke from my drunken, drugged stupor and decided I was going nowhere. Yet now, my rose colored glasses paint a different picture. When once my biggest worry was sobering up enough to go to work, now, I have a multitude of middle class worries to chew on. So many pitfalls waiting to ruin my day.

I look back on my irresponsible youth selectively forgetting all the angst that comes with that age. I conveniently dismiss the deep loneliness I suffered on a regular basis. I neglect to bring up how selfish I could be back then. Serving only my whims and looking for self-gratification at all times. Unable to share myself, I spent my waking hours getting high, looking to get high, or wishing I could get high. Yeah, those were the times.

As I compare the me of 1970 and the person I am today, I realize I haven't really changed much. I can still be selfish, put myself first, and let others down. The difference is when I was young and dumb, any slights and self centered ways were performed without premeditation. I had no inkling that what I did affected other lives. My connection to the rest of the World unrealized. Guilt free but guilty nonetheless.

And now, I know guilt. Now I know regrets. Now I know what is expected. Now I know responsibility. I have for over 25 years. But knowing it and living it is still a struggle. Waking up each day and doing what's right day in and day out takes a stronger man than I. Thankfully, my lapses are brief and most times of small consequence. They serve as reminders that I am not that far from my past.