November 15, 2011 by Manny Wordsmith
I open my eyes to the blue fluorescent numbers on my cable box as they remind me that I once again fell asleep watching Man vs. Wild. There has to be a subliminal message in that somewhere.
I roll to my side and play the unusually bright and spastic slide show of the night before. I shuffle through the flickering images and try to find one moment that can deeply define the night’s experiences. I look for that one conversation, that one kiss, or that one seduction that can take me from empty to full. I look for something I can feed on that reminds me how I can affect the people and situations around me. And I look for something that can ground me and let me know I am actually here. And If I don’t find it…
I just go out looking for it again.
Everyday I put myself through an intricate “shuck and jive balancing act”, where I dance and attempt to juggle more than I can handle. Most people would try to expunge their complicated lives so they have less to carry, but not me. I think to myself, “What can make me stand out? What can make the people cheer even more? Maybe more objects? That’s it, now let’s give them a show.”
What I have going for me, in the least, gets me everywhere I need to go. There aren’t any pressures from friends or family. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself, and I’m too stubborn to let anyone help me gauge it.
And even though I see all the facts, the histories and the threads that bind, I still can’t seem to settle with just Manny the cute nice guy, or Manny the responsible student. I can’t shake the thought of me fighting against some invisible system that threatens to push me into nothingness if I ever stop moving. The bug in my ear that I can’t dispel tells me I must flex to be more, party to be more, dance to be more and wear the type of hats that will allow me to impress anyone I meet.
My uncontrollable obsession forces me to try to always be “something” to someone. That way I can hide in plain sight and trick people into believing that I actually know who the hell I am.
And that is the sad truth, and it’s about time I finally do something about it.