I awoke at 4 am to the first low grumblings of distant thunder. With only 45 minutes before the alarm was set to ring I resigned myself to consciousness, and rolled over to wait for the inevitable bark of the Indomitable Moxie. Canines have two responses to the existential crisis of thunder, curling up and whimpering, and barking in righteous indignation. Moxie prefers the latter.
After 30 minutes the thunder had grown loud enough to elicit her response, and I got out of bed to let the dog out. She ran about the back yard in circles, her nose pointed at the indifferent heavens, barking her displeasure, and snapping at the rain drops, by now big enough to chew. She tired of it quickly enough, and deciding she had made her feelings sufficiently clear to the great big growling dog in the sky, she came to the door for a shake down, and crawled back in bed.
I showered, and got ready to leave for the airport. The rain was coming down as dark as ink by the time I pulled onto the highway and I struggled to make out the lanes, following the taillights of the cars ahead. Veins of lightning forked through the clouds, and with itchy eyes, and a stomach full of green apples, I made my way to the airport. I’ve been doing this for twenty effing years now, and I couldn’t dread it more. It wasn’t always this way.
When I started on the road it was grand adventure. I approached each trip with a Whitman-esque hunger to devour all that I saw. I sat glued to the window of the plane, tracing the lines of railroads, and highways below me like a palm reader seeking my fortune. As I crossed and re-crossed the country,the thrill would eventually wane, but by then I was beginning to make international trips. These flights to Asia and Europe renewed my passion for travel and I devoutly studied the cultures and histories of every country I visited, enthralled at the complex absurdities of man. That too would fade by the mid 2000’s, to be replaced by a professional detachment from the inconvenience of flying. I developed a Zen like meditative state, where I could remove myself from my surroundings into the pages of a book, or the bliss of lucid dreaming. But since I’ve turned 40 I find it impossible.
Somewhere I have lost all sense of peace, and now even the slightest discomfort drives me to distraction. I find myself steaming with hatred, and anger at everyone and everything I encounter. It’s been 20 effin’ years, what the hell am I doing here? Where the hell am I going? It gets harder and harder to push those feelings down, and go about doing my job. I wonder how much longer I can keep this up. At what point does my seething resentment and hatred of my dark corporate overlords make this impossible? I am still one of the best they have, and can be fuggin’ brilliant when I want to be, but I find myself wanting to less and less.
What is my problem? What more do I want out of life? I am 40 years old, and I have a beautiful family and a comfortable life. I find myself wanting for nothing, and can’t understand why I’m so unsatisfied. Perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis. But if it is, where is my sports car? No, some men get convertibles and motorcycles for their mid life crisis, I get a blog.
Sitting here on the tarmac, waiting in line for takeoff, I feel so tired. Tired of travel, tired of running in circles barking at the thunder. Outside the sky is dishwater gray. Rain runs in rivulets down the oval window, and the thunder is now past. Maybe I should give up, scratch at the door, give myself a good shake, and crawl back into bed. Sooner or later the storm must pass.