Craving boxes, neat lines drawn, grids, structure, rigidity, assurance. All those things they tried to provide for me when I was a child and a young man that I resisted. I want predictability, sameness, grayness, blandness. Throw out all of the colorful shirts, and stick with black t-shirts off hours, checkered blue shirts at work, and navy blue when it’s time to be semi-casual. Nothing loud and obnoxious, the music will be hard bop jazz before it got all crazy and experimental and classical music–just the standards, please. No more steak dinners at the chain restaurant, my heart can’t handle it. The same haircut once a month at the Supercuts in the strip mall down the street. Give me the most unexceptional cookie cutter suburban neighborhood with a commute no less than twenty minutes and no more than fifty minutes. I’ll see what the blockbuster films and Oscar nominees and watch only those movies. I can handle two original series from AMC and Netflix each year. Please permit me to grill grocery-store branded brats and hamburgers once a month during the spring, summer and fall. Vacations will be in Florida at Disneyworld or Anaheim in Disneyland. Maybe the National Capitol and the occasional road trip to a national park. I want the largest flat screen TV available, and all of the sports packages on cable. Plenty of baseball caps and sports jerseys. Get me really fat–I will drink a lot of Bud Lite, watch sports, talk sports, and eat junk food. I take back what I said about the steak dinner and my heart. Let my eating and drinking be the death of me, rather than the prescription pills. We will send our kids to public schools and a nice, white suburban neighborhood church. Get fat and die. Don’t care about the earth or politics. When I cash out, I want to cash out to the nth degree. No more reading books or trying to keep my mind supple. I’ll BS my way through the last thirty years of my professional life, talking sports with the boys in the boardroom, taking fishing trips to the Gulf or golfing trips as needed.
Seriously, though, the answer to the question seems to be: whatever you like. Do what you please. We don’t care. We don’t really need you. The world–our particular world–doesn’t need another you around. There’s already been enough like you come through and you would be quite redundant.
What I miss is not the old work any more than I am hot for the new work. I don’t miss the content of the old discussions, but I miss the fact that I could go to a place every day of the week and talk with people who pretended to give a shit about what we were talking about.
This…this is a bizarre world where everyone is pressing onward to let their little lights shine elsewhere. Yes, they want to be good neighbors and love the people in their community, but they have a much grander and more glorious community awaiting them elsewhere, where they will be able to significantly impact the world for the better and be utterly and completely recognized for their work.
We keep the community areas scrubbed clean because we are concerned about what any imaginary prospective donor visitors might think. We don’t have time to talk to each other because we are busy with preparing for the great and exalted work we will do out there.