I woke up to the sound of rainfall and finally got to wake up with a smile on my face. The coffee tasted better, the cigarettes were more enjoyable and my mind could lazily meditate on the water falling on the streets of Portland.
Rain makes me happy. I don’t know what it is, but the sound of the rain and the feeling I get is warm and comfort. As I headed into work on the bus I stared out the window and could just clearly think. My mind wasn’t going anywhere insane and the noisy symphony of un-tuned instruments that play in my head was quiet background music.
The time between my birthday and my sober anniversary is always a weird time for me. The weather goes from summer to winter, I become much more nostalgic and melancholy, and I look into the future. My future.
I have been through a lot. I’ve seen things, done things and lived through things that most people only read about in crazy people’s memoirs. I didn’t plan to still be breathing and eating Burgerville at age 36. I didn’t make those kinds of plans when I was younger. Even through my 20s, I doubted that I would continue to grow and discover the world around me. I didn’t have ambition or a philosophy of get the most out of life. Most of the time I invested in the short term. Take the risk and put all my cards on the table today, for tomorrow I might be on the downward slope.
My long-term goals didn’t start to shape until I was in my early thirties when I was scooping ice cream and making coffee. Not that I care about material success, but I certainly wasn’t happy doing a teenager job while my friends were off starting families and buying houses and putting down their skateboards for golf clubs. I wanted to start growing up.
I don’t want the house and kids, but I do want to do what I love and not worry about the consequences of financial obligations, so I went back to school for the third or fourth time. I do not like school. I still see it as a racket. Doctors and engineers should go to school. I don’t know any self-taught doctors that I would trust with my life. Other discipline just requires experience.
I would like to be a writer. Judge me all you want. I judge other people who say they are or want to be a writer. It is what I’ve wanted to be since I was able to put pen to paper. I’m doing it everyday. Sometimes I just write this, and other times I fill pages and pages of prose and I spend time shaping it into a short story.
With the rain falling and the bus jerking around as it navigated its way down 6th Avenue, I started shaping a novel in my head. It was a story I originally thought for a graphic novel, but I have let my drawing skills go. I am just going to write it and see what happens.
I tell you this, not to brag or make you think I’m smart or anything, but to be accountable to my dreams. I am a man who has a hard time feeling the burn of ambition and love getting distracted by people and the interwebs. If I think some of you, and I know there are only a few of you, know that I mean to write this story, then I feel compelled to write it.
I’ve written two other stories that are close to novel length, but those were written during my beat loving days. I just write an exaggerated version of my story and try to be all beautiful and tragic, but it was insincere.
I found Jorge Luis Borges late in my life. My roommate had a collection of his stories and essays and he thought I’d enjoy them and was surprised I never heard of him before. I took the thing down to my shitter and read a story every time I went down there. I couldn’t believe he wrote that stuff! He opened my eyes that I can write anything I want and there is no story off limits to write. I am mad that this man’s stories have been hid from me for so long.
Well, here’s to writing and the rain. The two go hand in hand in my opinion.