Pacing back and forth in the control room like some kind of a caged animal it dawned on me that this was what I knew would happen eventually. Thoughts about my return and the strategy I need to employ in order to make that a reality. I didn’t think that it was going to be this soon that the challenge and novelty would wear off. What lays ahead is a battle with time and psychology. It has to do with the ability to overcome the desire to be in the future while being here and now.
Communication helps but there is no signal in the bunker that is the control room. Sitting in one of the high chairs eventually makes my butt sore and the pressure of its edge digs into my thigh. A restlessness builds as the seconds tick away amplified by the ticking of the clock up above the door. Me feet step in one direction and then back like a sentry on duty with my attention turned toward the patient lying underneath the gantry. I squeeze my green ring exercising each hand in turn to the point of exhaustion carrying on this activity over and over again.
A restless body is a symptom of a restless mind. Quieting the mind is harder with nothing to distract it and nothing to challenge it. The mind creates these challenges based on desire. Reason is a slave to passion to paraphrase Hume. It used to be that the greater world motivated my reasoning towards fulfilling that passion. Lately it has been the personal intimate desires that have grown in prominence and importance. When we gaze at each other through the marvel of technology or message each other with cute phrases I realize that our reunion is inevitable. Our lives are drawn to each other like two vortexes on a collision course. Well maybe something more poetic than that.
Still the stillness of a small town life stifles what is on my mind. There is no escaping geography as distance is only surmountable by different modes of transportation and flying is the fastest option that we have at this present moment. My way back will be swift once I finish my stint in purgatory paying forthe sins of my youth in order to regain my freedom from these shackles. I know that I am not the only one. I’m not the only student who has grappled with the existential choice at the dawn of adulthood. Weather to pursue an education with the passion that has carried them through youth or to toil in an entry level position hopeful that something comes their way. I’ve done both and discovered that there is value in each way but that life in not just about a career. Innit?
The biggest problem I have is with compound interest. It’s calculated as prime plus two point five percent. These are student loans we are talking about. They seem like a good deal at the time and they cover almost everything if you happen to live very frugally. I was a much older student when I took these loans out and tuition didn’t remain stable but kept rising and the cost of living was creeping up too. I had to have a job on the side just to make it through. I was fortunate to have friends help me out with rides to work and back. I was up late until the early hours making sure people partied safe as street violence was beginning to brew in the city. There was no way to make that kind of money any other way.
The road continued through graduation and into my new career as a loss of a dear friend propelled me to continue studying and finish what I wanted. Working hard pursuing many goals. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes. There was a cost and this was the loss of who I was. I had to leave my home on the west coast and be myself in a different place and come to terms with what I needed or what I wanted out of life. Who am I? A patient once asked me that and I rattled off a series of things that I’ve done. He said are you just a bunch of titles or names. It kind of put me in my spot and I knew what he had done. I am me. That’s what I should have said. Another soul or body or conscious being experiencing life in this moment in time. That moment is this moment now and a year from now it will be that moment then. We all will have travelled once more around the sun as it travels along its path in the galaxy as the galaxy itself travels through the universe.
Think of all the things that have mattered to you. As I think of mine they have always been particular people that have graced my life. I hope to have graced theirs in kind. There are many that I think about although they have not been around and we have lost touch kinda. There are always new people that pop into life and distract and fascinate. There are some whose presence acts as a powerful gravitational force attracting even from afar with an unstoppable energy. Life was like a satellite floating in space waiting to encounter these gravitational waves and be pulled into orbit.
Everyone has some kind of pull attractive or repulsive. There is more to attraction than just a flutter of wings and the sweet taste of their nectar. There is also the need to express feelings inside and act in a way that is in synergy with the other. Having felt the pain and emptiness of unrequited attraction it’s nice for this to be different this time. I’ve broken hearts too sometimes. This is the part that student loans don’t cover. The cost is pain but the reward is healing and wisdom that allows new seasons to form and insights into the soul.
The long road back is like a journey taken by characters in myth who go out in search of adventure. I’ve been there and back and now I’m in need of getting back again. The long road back this time is not just a journey of movement but also an excercise in stillness so as to quiet the mind in order for the process to take place and mature into its destined form. As we sit and talk we are becoming friends and companions that I’ve sought to find. It’s funny how we sometimes don’t recognize the treasures right there in plain sight. We cracked our shells and melded.