There’s long-distance: California to Pennsylvania.
There’s short-distance: my home to my workplace.
There’s the rest: here to anywhere you are.
Like my grasp of time, my grasp of distance is tenuous. I don’t know how far “faraway” is. It’s somewhere past the three steps down from porch to walk, past the ten miles from here to work, past the twenty miles from work to the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s on and on and it ends somewhere south of me.
Or east. Or over the ocean. Or right around and back again.
Work has been stupid. Anything distracts me because my work, some days, is pointless and overridden by sexist jerkoffs who say things like, “You’re welcome to research it and double-check me if you want.” Hey, research this, assclown.
And I’m looking at this whole “go to school and get my master’s degree in library science” thing. I’m looking at this whole thing.
I’m looking at myself.
Up till now, I have been content to see myself as others see me. I have defined myself by the various roles I play for others, and been complacent. The truth that I’m finding is that I’m pushing thirty and still haven’t been significantly published, and screwing around with a low-paying library job, regardless of how good I am at it or how much I love my library, is not going to get me published. Sure, I need to go back to school, and make contacts in the field. I need to write.
Please don’t find this as elementary as I do. It hurts to think just how long I’ve been deluding myself, delaying myself, keying my actions off some future tense, some future tension, breaking point in which I will spring into kung-fu fighting form. I will then know what I want and who I am to become. I will know. I will be sure.
The reality – snickering as I say that, more like “surreality” – of my situation is that I will never be sure of everything. But I won’t know what I’m unsure of until I go out and do things. Do more things. Learn.
I am terrified at this new doorway, and I’m the one who kicked it open.
While I was gaping at this new gap, I turned my head to see someone approach, someone I hadn’t known while always knowing. Someone who is as much of a riddle as I am, as contrary and in the same places, as calmly manic, as confused and confusing, as sentimental and as strange.
From a distance, I saw the trajectory of the crash-landing in my heart, and had not even the instinct to brace for impact.