Sometimes it’s the big things, ten-year highschool reunions that hold up funhouse mirrors to everyone over watered-down punch and stale nostalgia. Or it’s wildly-successful former friends devouring their third trip to Greece like it’s a buffet while you pluck away, keystroke after keystroke, on something that’s never going to see the light of day because you’re so damn critical of yourself. Or it’s weddings, rings and I Do’s, lifetimes of happiness passing in front of you while you’re sitting dateless in the pews thinking “What does he/she see in him/her and why does no one see that in me?”
Sometimes it’s long hauls, grisly morning commutes, coffee breath and thankless lunch breaks with cold cuts and glimpses of floods and faraway places on the headlines. Sometimes it’s lukewarm reviews that dig under your fingernails with every comma and consonant, prying you open like a walnut before hucking you into the bin, satisfied with having gouged out your core with an offhand remark about “amateur production values.” Sometimes it’s one burnt frying pan too many that tips you over the edge at three in the morning with your guts twisting cause the grocery bill’s thinner than last month’s and you miss the taste of flame-grilled steak like you used to have all the time back in Oil Country.
Sometimes it’s the big things.
And sometimes they’re beaten back by the little things, like the cupboard you finally filled with mugs to the point you realize if all your friends decided to drop by, impromptu, you’d have a cup for each and every one of them (and a few highball glasses if they brought their friends as well.) Or it’s the final phrase in the final line of dialogue you write at night that finally frees you from the grip of a story that’s been lurking in your brain for days railing at you to set it loose on a page and send it to your friend for a second look. Or it’s warm smiles from an olive-toned Marilyn Monroe lounging on your couch after you both discover your secret love for fantasy literature and how, yes, you really ought to get her hooked on Game of Thrones so you both have a mutual foe in Joffrey to howl at when he does something dastardly.
(Spoiler alert; he does a lot of dastardly sh!t)
Or it’s plugging in your iPod on a dreary Tuesday commute and discovering you still have Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds lodged in it’s memory, and as he fills the airwaves with terror you picture him sitting across from you on the crowded sky train, waggling his mighty beard and saying “Relax, kid. I had to fight uphill my whole life, and when you’re carrying as much weight as I do uphills are twice as steep.”
Push and pull, stop and go.
Let’s start some shit up.