You know the dream. You have had it off and on for years. You are butt-naked in a public place...usually at that place in your life that caused you anxiety anyway...and you are trying to fit in, or get to a place where you can grab something to cover yourself.
I have had this dream/nightmare, and it never ceases to shake me up. Of course, it is wonderfully relieving to awaken and find yourself in your own little bed. Not naked in a train station or high school. But you are shaken by the bending of time that you have just mentally experienced. That feeling that you will never be able to get out of a situation in which you feel lost and embarrassed...and, well...naked. A nightmare that never seems to end. It just gets worse.
You are about to notice the beginnings of such a hallucination that isn't a hallucination and that truly does not end except in death. I'm speaking of aging.
I do not want to get into a description of the process of 'wheels falling off'. Whining and complaining about aches and pains and diminishing returns. Loss of the energy that you once had. Or loss in general. That is a 'given' that is lost on those that see such a time as so far in their future as not to even be contemplated now. And that's okay. I suppose. It was for me. When I was young.
But aging is a nightmare for many other reasons. While you were not contemplating such a time in your short life. While you did have the energy to make a difference, to the world...to yourself...did you do enough? Not enough to satisfy some panel of metaphysical judges or gods. But enough to satisfy that aging man or woman that you will, or have become. Do any of us? For aren't we the toughest judge of our own lives and our accomplishments?
Blame is a specter of mine. An evil spirit which I cannot exorcise. One upon which I rely and fear simultaneously. I lean on it like the cripple that I have often seen in the mirror, leans on his crutch. We all blame our failings on others...it is human nature(or so I have found) to do so. I blamed "the sixties" for intervening in my young life. Pulling me into social awareness when I should have gone to class. Thinking that I could make a difference in the world by carrying a placard and screaming at the police. I didn't. Somewhere in my head, at least 10% of me knew at the time, that this was not the road to take. But that other 90% said "go on...have some fun protesting and playing the angry young man". For my debauchery with women...I blame my inherited good looks. "Hey, if women find you attractive...whatta ya gonna do?...turn them down?" For my skewed view of family, I blame the death of my father when I was very young and not having had a real male role-model in my life during those formative pubescent years. I blame McDonalds for the chubbiness that I had to conquer in my mid-thirties. You name a problem in my life...and I've got someone else to blame for it.
But at the very least, I am mostly aware of my shortcomings. I understand that this blame is not a panacea for roads not taken. It is mostly ill-placed and can't really help me now.
But that's as may be. We all have our demons.
They place us between rocks and hard places. Many say that I blame jews/judaism for most of the problems of the world, which of course, considering that I have lived in the world; I have been subject to. Well, I do. But it is a measured responsibility which I place upon this cult. I have paid their usury, when I could have spent my currency on other things. I have abandoned their media, which I could have enjoyed were it not so slanted toward the talmud. I have culled my reading habits for fear of being sucked into wasting time on the same point of view. I have spent untold hours in meticulous research vetting most everything in popular culture to avoid breaking my obsessive rules of not being party to or giving consent to this all-consuming decline of the human condition at the hands of the tribe that rules. Much time given. Much effort spent. Just so I can look at that guy in the bathroom. And I can. But he is so much older now. I barely recognize him. And that too plays into the nightmare of which I speak.
So I have found myself between that rock of judaism, and the hard place of my almost obsessive resistance to it. But as I 'skinny' through these closely juxtapositioned demons, I know there will be reward when I finally do awaken from this nightmare of aging. The cure of either blissful emptiness in which there will be no "I" to care about such things...or another adventure. One perhaps when I can remake my faulty decisions. One in which blame is not needed at all. One in which I stick to those piano lessons and college lessons and life lessons. One that doesn't deteriorate into so much effort just to be able to glance at a reflection without regret. "A consummation devoutly to be wished...to die, to sleep".