Drive home. I lack energy, focus, will.

Drive home. I lack energy, focus, will. I am not sleepy, so much as full of a funk that skates on the edge of depression. I am knocked down by all of the little blows of the day. No real knockouts, just a technical knockout by default. The boss who alternates between being overly involved and overly absent and never correctly tapped in to what we are doing. The colleague who laughed at my jokes the first three months and then abruptly stopped and suddenly became a “no” person and one who is trying to get ahead like everyone else. The job ad posted on the site that reads like the job I am supposed to be doing. The team that invited me to their first outing, and now does not. The endless jokes I try to crack that go unnoticed. The consumption of caffeine to try to jolt me out of this.

Of course, I’m feeling sorry for myself and of course I’m whining. I’m whining because this is the place to whine. I don’t whine much anywhere else so it has to be here. Of course, nothing is really that bad, and nothing is really that great, except my son, my wife, my family. But, I crave magic, the exceptional, the extraordinary. Something completely unexpected, but is good and not tragic. I don’t know what. Winning the lottery. Being suddenly seized with special powers to do complex math problems. Getting a visit from an extraterrestrial. Who knows?

The body is too weary for complete escapism, the mind lies still in defeat. I take ten minutes at the end of the day to read something that might enrich me, better me, make me think differently, and then I am adrift in dreams. Why do I have cable television and internet streaming packages, when I have dreams that are purely there to entertain me?

Past few nights, dreams have been forgotten. A vague feeling of remembering the usual archetypal themes that crop up: not finishing school, back in the old home with intruders and/or fights with family, trying to get away and head out west somewhere. I wake up to the sound of my wife’s alarm going off, or my bladder is full and the dog wants out, but I don’t want to get up just yet.

My eyes feel all bleary, and it’s dark, but at least it’s no longer completely dark going to and from work.

I do eat and drink too much during the lunch hour most days now, and I’m eating and drinking up my retirement and my son’s college education, I suppose. Except, I see it as being more or less what I’ve always seen it to be: a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. Instead of saving all of that money and going to Paris, I spend it on an overpriced lunch at a downtown restaurant.

It could be argued that some of it is survival tactics. I am marking time at a place I’m not particularly excited to work at until I get to the one year mark or close enough that my job hunt will land me something after I’ve been here for a year. I’ve more or less given up on the notion that a magical work environment exists, much the same way that most magic has departed from my middle-aged head and life.

Right around the corner isn’t a magical experience, a novel thing, a wondrous moment on the cusp of becoming a life-changing event.

As such, it should be noted that reality itself isn’t as terrible as I make it out to be when I write. I hardly ever write when things are just going along in a state of equillibrium, a state of good enough. Occasionally, I get the reminder from a news article or some other story told to me that life could be much worse, and it may yet be so, given the direction our current world leadership seems to want to take things.

From where does this desire for a little bit of magic in the day come from, anyway? Too many promises made by parents and pop culture that never came true? A memory of a life before this one inside the bardo passage where a thing willed became a thing realized? Or is it just the devil tempting me to cry out to forces that are not created by God, to assist me in attracting great wealth and prosperity for a few years before I die and trade my soul in for eternal damnation?

…still lost. Three years haven’t helped much.

It’s true that you are not the same man who began this blog almost three years ago. It’s true that you’re not the same one who left the suffocating comfort of the apartment you rented first with Lucy, then with Dennis. You’re not the quiet, socially awkward fool who let so many others take advantage of him at the IAH non-profit. You can look inside the mirror at yourself and have an honest dialogue with the face before you. You don’t dye your hair or cover your scalp in Rogaine. You just let things live the way they are, and let the cards of people’s first impressions fall where they may.

But you are still lost. You couldn’t last a New York minute if you moved to that city. They would shred you to bits and toss what’s left of you in the gutter. You still lust after an opportunity to be irresponsible, and not have to worry about things like death and passing on the family name. You still want your mind to just wander where it will at the end of the day.

True, you are no longer quite the loser you once were, but to assert to anyone that you are a fully realized modern man of 21st Century America would be a laughable lie.