Tomorrow is gigantic.
And I feel like I’m drowning in the idea of it.
It's the most monumental turn of a dusk I've had in my short life thus far. It's the start to a year-long trial where -- unfortunately for me -- I am the judge, jury, and possibly the executioner.
Tomorrow I turn twenty-seven years of age.
Growing up, this was the big one. I don't give a damn about twenty. I couldn't care less about thirty. It has ALWAYS been twenty-seven. In my youth, I was fascinated with age due to the curse. THE 27 CLUB. An age that saw the death of Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, and Winehouse. Just to name a few of the most popular gravestones it has spawned. The club includes the names of over thirty famous artists. Most of whom, were serious influence on a young boy who still to this day struggles with the blight of self-doubt and identity. I've studied it. Read stories of fiction based around it. Even delusional, I searched for a string connecting the events.
In my darkest time, I had a simple goal. As a budding creator, soon to be writer, and a young man stuck in the muds of trouble, I just wanted to see my twenty-seventh birthday. I promised myself I would make it that far. The absolute least I could do with this chance I've been given. It was a number, and a place. One I could grasp. It was a calendar date set in stone. A finish line. A goal I bounded towards with a bucket full of cynicism, half a plan, a desert of dry wit, and just a dash of whimsy. Truth be told. I've always just wanted to write a sentence that said both bound, and whimsy in it.
Now, older, I have other plans for my life. I'd like to grow older. I'd like to drink nice whiskey in a wingback chair, surrounded by books (some of which penned by me), in the middle of nowhere. But the pressure still remains. No, I'm not afraid of my life ending during the next three-hundred and sixty-five days. Rather, this is my time of judgement. I'm not sure how I will feel a year from now, it could be anything. However I hope it's some form of pride.
Those of my heroes who survived to see twenty-eight, I still remain fixated on this time-frame of their life. Most of them, if not all of them, had hit a certain plateau of success by this point. Which weighs on me like a suffocating lead coat. Which it shouldn't. But... alas... it does. It's odd to hold myself to the standard of great writers. It's even less productive when the masochistic poison that is my poor self image, and zero self-trust, Fuck... I'm rambling. Why is this so difficult to talk about?
I want to amount to something. Both in life, and in this year. I want to set the nose of my plane in the direction I'd like to crash, turn auto-pilot on, and go sit down with a pad of paper. Just ride it into the dirt. I do not want to go through the year I've been dreading without taking a bite out of life. I must write. Throw away the crazed ugliness that is twenty-first century society, abandon my hopes of achieving normalcy, and put ink on pages. Up until now, I've done nothing with my life shy of surviving, running away, and creating a mess.
I've spent all day waiting for the moment that I can get this out of me and it's turning into a waterboarding session. I can't seem to find my footing. No matter how many times I attempt to start a new thought. A million screams to try and decipher. One peeks through.
We're the club. Us. You, and me, and writers like Jamie Varon, Abby Norman, Srinivas Rao, Jonas Ellison, and anyone with the fucking stones to hit the "PUBLISH" button.
It's a real treat to be a part of it. To those who are here with me, I adore you. And can't consider a different group of people I am smitten to be called equals with.
I read a letter from Hemingway that described an altercation with another writer. One where he stated he no longer wanted to be considered among the peers of said artist. But I see no malice in this time. There are so many beautiful voices out there. Far too many to count. There are outlets like Medium, that say "Hey, you have a sultry, sexy vibe to the reverberation of your vocal chords. It's pretty. I want more. Here, take this microphone. I'll sell tickets on the street." and it has birthed the habitual cleansing of a thousand wandering minds. It's here we show our ugly. It's here we feel a split second of freedom, just long enough to remove the masks we wear to pass as an ordinary being. It's this place where the sins of our minds, and the gorgeous rhyme in our chorus can live.
Tomorrow, I turn twenty-seven.
Tomorrow, I begin to beg myself for forgiveness.
Tomorrow, I leap off a cliff lifted in fog. I cannot see what's below me.
My thoughts are a blinding roar. I've strung up my hammock between two trees directly adjacent to train tracks that never cease moving cargo to god knows where. I just wanted to find peace within the pines. But I've found explosions within my mind.