Some things never change.
Entitlement, deceit, rejection, prejudice, paranoia, possessiveness, self-loathing, greed, narcissism.
Other things have narcolepsy and amnesia and require constant monitoring.
Appreciation, trust, conscientiousness, acceptance, satisfaction, hospitality, and humility.
The tools, toys, and texts with which people use and consume to shape and inform their realities change from decade to decade depending on industrial capacity and retail trends, but aren’t the intentions the same? Make it through the day, see another sunrise, have another piece of cake; open one’s eyes, walk again, speak again, see again, hear again, taste again, feel again, love again.
Believe in love again. I’m not referring to romantic love — the socially constructed marketing campaign to sell one-size-fits-all monogamy*. I’m talking about kinship with life manifested through other humans, other animals, other living beings — vertebrates and invertebrates alike.
Do you remember the first time you connected to the internet on DSL or a cable modem and didn’t have to wait on dial-up? Do you remember when you went out with your friends on a Friday night or Saturday day, you told your parents you’d be back by a certain time and they’d (have to) trust and believe that you would? And, depending on what kind of kid you were, if you were going to be late beyond an understandable time frame, you would call them?
Do you remember the first time you had a refrigerator? The first time you used a cordless phone so that you could talk to your friend about Dungeons and Dragons and not have to deal with your siblings’ disdain? Do you remember when you first got into a traffic accident or waited at the mall for more than two hours and nobody came to get you? How much anxiety did you feel compared to annoyance? Were you really relieved when a stranger came by to help or the police or when someone you knew finally came to get you? Or were you just really pissed off that your brother forgot to pick you up because he lost track of time while playing basketball?
Do you remember when the power went out and you had the sunlight to keep reading, writing, or playing a board game? Do you remember when the power went out and you didn’t have to race to unplug a dozen electronic devices?
Do you remember the first person who was kind to you in a new environment? The first person who talked to you when you knew no one? Do you remember when they stopped being kind to you and stopped talking to you for no observable reason? Some things never change. It doesn’t matter what clothes you wear or what music is popular or what kind of transportation you take. There are places everyone finds at one time or another. Whatever gets you through the day will never be as dependable as the surprise of a friendly face or inevitability of its departure.
* The idea of romantic love is warm and may serve to be the beacon in one’s life. But, it isn’t one-size-fits all. Nevermind the argument of whether or not homo sapiens are monogamous on a reproductive level. Positive regard for another human being shouldn’t be limited to one person forever. And for some, it isn’t. So long as positive regard and erotic or lustful regard do not sit at the same table, then there are no limits to expressing positive regard. N’est-ce pas?
I grew up wanting nothing to do with romantic love because I didn’t think it was real. I’m still not sure it’s real. I do know erotic love is real, metaphysical love is real. Just because the positive regard you have for someone else makes you walk into furniture or smile idiotically, or do things that astound you whenever they’re around, it doesn’t mean you need more than that. If this person shares the same level or flavor of regard for you, then all the better. Wielding and feeding it is sometimes a whole other matter, though, if you can do so, because you want to and are able to, then do it. Maybe this kind of joy is harder to sustain because it’s inherently transitory and evanescent. It doesn’t want to be bound by law and order. It wants space to breathe, space to fly, but also the knowledge that it will have a landing pad whenever it needs rest. Wherever it needs rest.
I want to be my own landing pad, I want to be my own (mis)adventure — true, true on the whole — but I can’t do it by myself all the time. Still, I’m not silly enough to believe that one person, the same person would be with me until the day my soul decides I’ve learned all I can from this life and it’s ready to move on to another. What does it even mean to be with someone anymore? Do I want a roommate who works from home or do I want a co-conspirator with whom I can partake in the delights in this life? Someone who speaks all of my dialects and pulses at a complementary frequency to my wavelength? I do not want a roommate who works from home. I challenge the universe to prove me wrong; I challenge the universe to obliterate my perspective.