the things I don’t do, sorry

People ask me where I am from, and I say New York City. Then we start talking about the bars in Gulfport, and how the woman at Ocean Springs are much prettier than the ones here. So, if I like to go out, I should go to that bar. I’ll have fun, and that’s where everyone goes. It may get expensive there, so maybe have a few drinks at this other place, and then you head there. We talk longer, me listening intently and with nothing to add. It’s like a black hole of disinterest with me. Even the younger guys express their excitement – do they card there? 

But there is nothing about this scenario that draws my attention. After some silence, I say that I’m not really a drinker. What I mean by this is that I never drink alcohol. I used to, there was a time, but it was posing and drinking to fit in. There is a lot less fitting in that I have to do now. I’ve reached the conclusion that it is impossible for me to fit in, and I no longer try. As for the women, pretty or not, it’s not really my interest. I would rather talk about books, or swimming – actually, not even those things. Those are things I would rather be doing – reading and swimming. 

In truth, there is little for me outside of the gates. There is little for me outside of my inner world. Inside of me I see stars, galaxies, inhabited with life and character’s so rich and interesting. In my imagination, I house tennants from all over the world. Some live in jam packed quarters with their large families. Others struggle with insomnia, they suffer through sleepless nights and loneliness. I know writers, I know plumbers, I know teachers, I know the homeless. These characters exist in my mind, and they all have their personalities. 

In due time, they will take form and become one with the world I live in. But time must run its course. Time takes time too. Today, I thought about how happy I am to be writing every day. Even though it is a challenge for me to come up with ideas, I make efforts to write and share what is on my mind. I used to struggle with this, I found it hard because I thought I had nothing to say. But I have so much to share, about myself, about life, about the world. 

I told myself that I wanted to write more about peace. Peace is a calm you enjoy, but it does not magically appear. It may appear in waves or float to you like a glass bottle in the sea with a little paper inside of it. It rides the ebbs and flows so that sometimes you see it, you feel it, you can carry it with you and other times it goes just out of reach. But if peace is worth having, it must exist as that elusive, illusory ideal. 

I am anxious again – I want to move on my own time. I want to control people so that they think in a manner that fits in with my safe world. This is not peaceful. But I am beginning to stress because I planned a schedule and now I am falling behind. I don’t like to be late. Am I unique for this? It sure seems like it, like being late doesn’t matter to anyone else. At least it doesn’t matter as much to anyone else. But this is not peaceful. 

For all that I have read on peace, loving, and acceptance, it’s the application of these principles that I struggle with the most. How can you be peaceful, when you’re taught to live with angst? Do I suddenly let go – because it sounds easy to say yes to that. 

Surrender from what?

I had the idea that in order to find myself with peace I would have to surrender my thoughts of how the world should be. It’s what Marlo says in The Wire. He says the problem is we want it to be one way, but it’s the other way. 

A simple word, expectation. Expectations are externally linked to external circumstances. I expect people to act in a certain manner, and when they don’t I create all sorts of pain, disappointment, discordance within myself. In other words, my peace takes a hit. 

So here I am, tired and misunderstood.
and I brood, and I cycle through moods,

until, like an old radio, I settle on one.
and it plays, and there’s sound,

and finally, there is something to listen to
and its sounds are unknown, 

and the program is new, 
something unheard,

that needs to be heard, 
and I listen to each word, 

to triangulate it’s origin – and its me.
me. me. me. 

that’s all i know.

Expectations are about me. My own plans for my life, my own goals. I swear, if I could start life over – I just hope that someone teaches me how to say no. So that I don’t listen to the list of open bars near me because that’s not my interest, and I do what I need to do, and move places on my own time. 

No. For peace. 

No I cannot. No I do not. No I will not. No, no, no. No, I don’t need to invest in the stock market. No, I am not concerned about clothes. No, I don’t want to watch a new show. And no, I don’t mean it in a bad way. But I need to say no, so that I can truly say yes. 

My yeses belong to writing now, and swimming. Yes, yes, yes. Tomorrow morning, I want to go swimming. No, tomorrow I will not snooze my alarm for an extra 8 minutes and 59 seconds. I would rather get up when I hear the sound so that I can foam roll at the gym. Then I will swim, and yes. that brings me boundless joy. 

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