Sleep has become my favorite thing. That oblivion where reality no longer holds sway and I can make choices which have real and lasting impact. Where I am no longer bound by the rules of conventionality and can, finally, make the choices that matter most to me.
I used to read. Novel after novel. Several a week. I used to play PC games for hours and get lost in being the chooser. Master of my own destiny. Even if that destiny was to find soda cans and fight giant radioactive scorpions.
I feel like my world has narrowed down to wanting some future I am uncertain of. To saving money so that I can be alive at some future date.
When I was younger, I was completely certain of my expiration date. That the lifestyle I had chosen and the way I had chosen to be would most assuredly result in my life being over by the time I was thirty-five. So I squeezed life from every day. And lived in the hollow agony of some of those choices.
In the stillness, as if the world itself was hushed, waiting for my next choice. In the terrorizing beauty of living as if tomorrow was, at best, a distant horizon. Both inevitable and irrelevant.
Some of this is the waiting for a future. Some of this is the sheer uncertainty of life. Knowing that I’m, at most, one bad month from terrible consequences. Of losing everything I have gained.
And maybe that is the crux. I have something other than my life to lose. And truthfully I never put much value on that. So in oblivion I was free.
And so I sleep. And make money and work at making money. And play games to make money. Because, our world requires, it. Money for security. Money for freedom. Money for choices. Money for shelter. Money for food. Money for medicine. Money to help others. Money and money and money.
Trapped by the choices past me made. Living in the moment. As if tomorrow didn’t matter. Present me wants to yell at past me and say, “You idiot! You survive. With a few simple choices, you can make your future easy. A few less things now will secure a future that you cannot imagine. The one where you aren’t trapped. Where your cage is balsa and you can break it at any time.”
But I can’t do that. So I try to do that in the wreckage of past me. Try to shed the habits of spending money to make my day suck less. Try to invest and save. Try to pay off this shrinking mountain of debt.
And lament that my art. And my choices, all come down to money. Trading minutes of my life in exchange for the ability to live another day in the hopes that tomorrow I’ll be free.
The world is backwards and we have only ourselves to blame.