Sunday morning in mid-January. It was 11:30 AM and I had done a small amount of work and had gone for a walk around the neighborhood. I felt like I deserved a beer, but that would have been a poor choice. The walk was empty of other pedestrians–anyone with New Year’s resolutions to fulfill had either already gotten up early to jog or walk, or the resolution-makers were already making excuses and staying inside. It was cold for Austin–about 34 degrees Fahrenheit–but it didn’t feel especially cold in the sun with no wind. The cars that drove by seemed angry. I suppose it’s stupid to try to tell if someone is driving angrily just by the way a car sounds when it goes by. I mean, sometimes it is more than clear that you are witnessing an angry driver, but you can hardly know most of the time if the person inside is pissed at the world and feeling slightly more than a little invincible at that moment. But, the cars sounded angry, like the drivers were all pissed off that they had to be going wherever they were going. Fast accelerations, quick brakes, loud music or DJ chatter blasting from the spearkers.
There was nobody else outside. Not one old guy like myself walking an old dog like my dog. No young people bouncing and tossing a basketball and headed to a local playground to shoot hoops. Not even some old lady walking to her car to go to church, though I did smell an obnoxious amount of old lady perfume, the kind old ladies wear to church on Sundays, when I passed by some houses. So, maybe one old lady from my neighborhood went to church, and a few young adults angrily drove to open fast food stores and man cash registers at various retail establishments.
A job that I’d applied for a month ago has re-appeared under a slightly different title. I’d received a rejection notice almost immediately last time, but I applied again because I could, and because I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere with the current job. The place I work isn’t a bad place to work, but it will never be a great place. The kind of products and services are too arcane, and the competition is way too stiff. Whatever traction I might have made to branch out and be someone/something more than a button-pushing chump has subsided with the person they hired to be the other marketing person. Technically, my boss is also part of our marketing team, but he only shows up to make poorly informed critiques about what we are doing and offer next to no solutions to the myriad of issues we face.
But all of that is just work everywhere. The faces and names change, but the issues do not. This is just work, and I signed up for it.
I woke up from a dream during my Sunday afternoon nap, and I was dreaming that I’d decided to invite a lady I used to work with on a cruise in the Carribean. In the dream, I was single or divorced or widowed or something–I wasn’t cheating on my wife. She is connected with me on Facebook and LinkedIn and works at a company one floor below me. However, the one time she saw me in person on the elevator, she didn’t remember me. In the dream, I set up the invitation by pouring her Dom Perignon champagne into some of our regular small juice glasses we own in real life. Except, the glasses were in the cabinet of the house I grew up in, and she was coming out of a meeting in a room that should have been our basement, but wasn’t.
Anyway, I began a laborious invite of: “I just want to invite someone to come with me and the person who was originally coming on this trip couldn’t go–this doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that I need a friend to accompany me.” In the dream, I was able to preview aerial shots of happy, wealthy people vacationing on the particular Caribbean island I’d chosen to vacation at. She seemed skeptical about the whole thing–as anyone would be–what were my true intentions?
That more or less seemed to be the lesson I was supposed to take away from the dream: that I do a poor job of being direct with others and more importantly, myself, about what my true intentions are. I am good at coming up with stories that gloss over or outright contradict what my true intentions are.
For God’s sake, if I can’t be honest about my true intentions when I am muddling through shit in a craphole journal like this, then I am in real trouble. And that’s probably the entire point–I’ve made a life out of fooling my own self into thinking my intentions are not what they really are, to the point where I get confused, and probably confuse any higher Power that is trying to help me get through life.
The whole dream smacked of mixed intentions–pouring expensive champagne into cheap, everyday-use glasses. Offering someone I barely know champagne while inviting them on a cruise, but trying to oversell that I am only looking for a friend to accompany me.
Maybe I should be completely clear with myself all over again about so many things that I am doing–brutal honesty, though, could prove to be hurtful to anyone who reads this before I am dead and they are dead.
What are my true intentions? How much of what I do is driven by mere ego and a desire to leave a good impression? Am I a good father and husband (when I am good) because I really want to be and truly love my family, or am I this way because I want to have an obituary that reads well, and perhaps have my wife and son plead my case with St. Peter? The answer is never so simple. Yes, I truly love my family. Yes, sometimes I choose to do things that will render me in a better light than whatever I’m feeling or thinking.