It’s eleven o’clock on a Saturday night and I’m sitting here at a community table in the middle of a crowded coffee shop that’s bordering on 90s club scene as Metallica plays loud in the background. I have headphones in my ears while I listen to a remix of some song I’ve never heard of, wondering if the original is as fulfilling as this one. I’m drinking an agave wheat beer because the simple nut brown ale I wanted was all out, even though it’s on the menu. Everything is always out here, so the alternative choices are all I get, even if I’d hardly consider many of them alternatives to their preceding choices.
I work a job during the week that keeps my bank account active but my body and mind inert. When I get home from work, I have two choices to make, both polar opposites on the spectrum of activities. I can stay at home and lounge on the couch with my dog, or go to the gym that my work subsidizes a membership for, play a game or two of basketball, run on a treadmill for a mile so I can feel like I did something productive. And then go home and lounge on the couch with my dog. If I go to the gym, I’ll have to deal with the social awkwardness of pretending I don’t notice everyone around me, and that I don’t care that they can see me. I’ll have to accept the fact that many of them are more dedicated than I’ll ever be to any one thing, potential future spouse and children more than likely included. I’ll either still be at home or finally get there after the gym and look at myself in the mirror, unhappy with the reflection before me. I’ll stare for awhile, trying to convince myself that I’m somehow getting in shape, whatever the hell that even means.
Is that a vein that wasn’t there before? Well, it looks like it, so I guess I can handle a bag of Doritos here this one time. Oh, great. It’s getting closer to ten o’clock, which is my self-imposed bedtime that allows me an arbitrarily healthy amount of sleep before I have to wake up and repeat everything all over again the next day. Didn’t I used to get excited about no bedtimes in adulthood? Wasn’t that supposed to be part of the allure of adulthood? Wasn’t that a thing?
I hardly know what things are things anymore, and what things I experience were things I hoped to experience in the past. Like the weekdays, it’s all a bit blurred together as I trek on closer to my far off weekends of respite and true fulfillment; those days when I’ll finally be able to come alive and enjoy myself, trying new and exciting things, meeting new and exciting people. Except…it’s eleven o’clock on a Saturday night and I’m sitting here at a community table in the middle of a crowded coffee shop that’s bordering on 90s club scene as Metallica plays loud in the background.