Tears For Lost Futures

Today, I am having one of my moody days. I feel like crying for the lost futures that never get here, the ones that somehow get sidetracked en route to becoming reality.

There is always a better, shinier Me in these lost futures. My long hair finally gets tamed. I take better care of myself. In the nearest future, I am eating sensibly, vegetables and soup, rather than the double cheeseburgers I find myself noshing on.

But I have started reading again. I am on the last legs of my second book, Dear Evan Hansen. Before that I completed Linwood Barclay’s Take Your Breath Away. At first I wanted to hate both books. I wasn’t prepared to give them a chance.. The future wasn’t welcoming me-as-a-Reader. But then I pushed a little and made a new future, and here we are, the second book in a week almost done, my enjoyment factor amped up, me learning what goes into a modern-day book.

For a long time, I studied excerpts from books, without actually absorbing the whole thing. I wouldn’t read, is what I’m saying. In high school I had great garbage bags full of used books. I would trade in two used books and “buy” a single book with the proceeds from the transaction.

I am becoming a Reader again, big-time. Oh sure, I still find myself frequently putting down my book beside my bed, and having to pace myself as if I’m running a marathon. Realizing a future is always a difficult thing. But I — am — succeeding.

The pharmacy has a collection of bestsellers next to all the magazines and collectible pieces and what-not that they sell. Soon, I’m going to grab my third book, and shell out a Twenty to pay for it. I have plenty of money. My needs are minimal. In every possible Future, I still have my cash, some of it. That’s a reassurance.

But still, I find myself trapped by circumstances and blocked from The Future I really want to come true. Most of all, I want to date around. I want the thrill of being accepted by a girl, which’ll lead to coitus. She has no idea what she wants. The opposite word of Future is Girl. I’ve never known a girl with an ambitious future, with needs like mine. They’re content to be picked out of a crowd, like a melon being snatched up at the supermarket, as I select her and she, silently, acquiesces.

I have to face facts: I’m nowhere near ready to write my book. Oh, I’ve written books before and failed miserably with them. I was stalling for time, in a way. For some reason I wrote at below my ability level. I was afraid to scale up and go for gusto, do something that would have salvaged my early novels. I was counting pages I was producing, the last thing you should do.

I’m crying because I can’t reach my Future of being a popular stud/popular novelist/popular Anything. I was always destined to be a winner, but then that got yanked away from me, and I’ve been spinning my wheels since, a middling figure on the stage. These tears over a temporarily lost Future can be forgiven, because I AM going to get my Futures back, maybe even the one where I’m some kind of a singer, a musician. I have a smartphone and I sing into it. I have to start waking up early, with myself by myself and carrying this voice recorder and seeing if I can make it hum. Again, I have to be realistic with myself.

I’m kinda an interesting guy, you know? I’ve already hooked some people on my pro blog. But I have to be better, do better. I can’t ever rest on my laurels.

The tears I cry for the lost future are drying now. They were blown out in the wind tunnel of Possibility, where I go to think things out. Some stupid Polish waitress bitch once told me I think too much. Easy for the retarded to say. I’m glad my father broke up with her. She was dragging him down — and His Futures.

— Greg Nikolic

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9 responses to “Tears For Lost Futures”

  1. We all feel stuck at times in our lives, snd, that’s just, a sort of a, transitional phase, and we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep on moving, and, know, that, we will, come out of this, state of, stagnation, soon enough.

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    • *laughing* The secret for me is to keep reading, and to stay cheerful. If I can do those two things, I’ll be more than alright, I’ll be motherfucking OUT-standing. But the books take priority.

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  2. you’re still young enough to make any future you want; go out there, don’t prevaricate, get absorbed into the messiness of life; things will sort themselves out —

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  3. So many futures. So many possibilities. It’s mind boggling.

    When I was young, I wanted to make a living as a writer. Finally I did. I got a job as a mailman. I was harassed relentlessly by management, to deliver mail faster. So I became a union steward and saved my job, as well as the jobs of others, by writing a lot of grievances. So you see, I made a living from writing.

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      • No, for real. My point being, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. For instance, some people who are talented at art become commercial artists. They may never paint a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa, but they may still make a good living in the field of art. Writers are artists, too, but there are all kinds of ways to make a living at writing, that go beyond books, poetry, and essays.

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