Do you remember the blog post a while back where I was saying that I had ended up being the kind of older woman I wanted to be? Like, all wise and shit and living in an ivy covered cottage full of happy animals? Yeah. That didn’t work out. Lately I feel like my aging process is involving all the less attractive characteristics of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard and Baba Yaga, the Russian witch. In other words, I’m going around drunk and on pills, desperately seducing young men in a hopeless attempt to recapture my misspent youth while occasionally crouching in a corner of my chicken legged hut, gnawing on babies and turning puppydogs into poison dart frogs. It’s a career, what can I say? Besides, maybe, help. Or, fuck it, come too close and I will so totally turn you into something small and slimy.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with people in their teens and early twenties lately. Part of this involves me sitting at the computer while they shoot each other with pellet guns in the basement (don’t ask) which is all fine and stuff, but part of it also involves me remembering my own early 20s and where I was then and where I am now and stuff like that, which is uncomfortably weird. I’ve often thought that if I hadn’t had a child when I was so young (cue the Specials here) I might well be dead. I got pretty wild in my late teens and I’ve always had this schizophrenic combination of total disregard for the rules and my own safety AND near crippling anxiety, guilt, paranoia and some kind of doomed attempt to fit in. Put more simply, I have no problem really liking both NOFX and Gillian Welch. Never have had and thus, somehow, my left brain and my right brain are sort of constantly at war. Part of me wants to be all mature and sophisticated and motherly and wise and so on while the other part just wants to totally tear loose and kick ass. Is this weird? Am I crazy? Do I even care? Usually, not much.
When my daughter was born, I had to kind of pull my shit together and raise her. Same went when I had my son. Now, they're pretty much raised (look, I give up on M. It's not so much that he's being raised by wolves as that he, the wolf, has challenged my human parenting abilities to a duel and they have, like, totally ceded the contest. He's a changeling or something. I tried. I swear it's not entirely my fault that he's growing up to be, well, whatever new mutant species of rock star or revolutionary that he is.) and there's a big part of me that would very much like to return to the East Village in the mid 80s and do all the drugs I didn't get around to then because I was trying to be responsible and grown up. Granted, I managed to get around to quite a few. Still. There are more. I'd also like to just drink myself into oblivion on a Greek island somewhere. I'm well aware that neither of these are a) healthy choices or b) options, unless someone has invented a time machine, in which case I think I'll go hang around Alexandria in the 20s with Lawrence Durrell, bye.
Where the hell am I going with all this? I have no idea. I feel like I'm being pulled in a bunch of different directions lately and all of them are making me miserable. Sigh. Presumably, this too shall pass and I'll regain whatever slim measure of sanity and/or control I ordinarily or at least sometimes possess. Or I'll cash in my last remaining meagre retirement account and go AWOL, which option gets more attractive every day, even though it would be a pretty short and pathetic AWOLness, given the paucity of that account. Like, forget the Greek island and perhaps consider the green way in the center of I-85 near Orangeburg.