We did not know what we were doing, back then. We thought we did, of course, as always one does. There was always a cause, there was always something happening. But what we were really doing was delaying the inevitable. Pursuing an ultimately doomed quest, desire, ‘calling’ (ha).
It’s harder now to accept mediocrity, for so long I allowed myself the luxury of belief, I was granted the energy of youth, and circumstances, though not always kind, provided me with sufficient opportunity to keep my dream alive. And even towards the end, as I railed against it, kicking and screaming in the embrace of my endeavours, I felt a purpose.
I’m a little older now. I’m still young, by many standards, but the energy and belief is gone. It has been a gradual process. I did not want to go out with a whimper, I never did, but with a roar and the beating of chests and the fight, the desire, the rage. But with a whimper I went. We all did, I suppose. The old-timers carry on, as always they will, doomed for eternity. As they get older and older and less selective about their audience, they will muddle along until claimed by illness, infirmity, the lack of interest of their peers, or suicide. Others, a little older than I, are already busily disengaging and floating away, to families, careers (‘proper’) or the comfortable, hazy purgatory of the background.
It is my time to float away too, from one endeavour to another, more sedate, at least. I don’t quite know how I will look back. Sometimes there is regret, sometimes a wry smile. I don’t even know if ‘back’ is where I will be looking. Maybe I’ll return to the ranks of those who crave a stage. The stern humour, the knowing, beer-drinking, understated chatter that accompanies the culture. But right at this moment, I am floating free from all of that. And it’s okay.