Friday, July 13, 2012

Comic-Con Interlude (July 13, 2012)

“We are young, so let’s set the world on fire.”
(a band that dares call itself fun.  Lowercase, with a period at the end)

My legs are really hurting me, the muscles tight and aching, from all the walking I’ve done today.  If I somehow had a pedometer reading of how far I walked, I'm sure I would be shocked (either because it’s so much more than I imagined, or so much less).  That’s one reason my legs are in such pain; I loaded myself up with Comic-Con purchases, then trekked all the way back to where I had (poorly) parked my car, unloaded, then walked back.  Another reason, though, is how fat I’ve gotten.  I just took an unwise look at myself in the mirror and was startled to discover that I’ve gotten wider than I used to be.  Somehow, my body has expanded, not just on my belly, but everywhere.  I look like Wolverine, if his bones were laced with bacon grease instead of adamantium.

But the other reason my legs are so hurting me is that I’m getting older.  Today is my birthday, and I’ve journeyed another mile or ten toward oblivion.  A few minutes ago, I was trying to watch “True Blood,” but wasn’t really following it, so I turned it off and decided to go to sleep.  But something on there struck me, and I had to turn the light back on and write this down.* 

On the show, one of the main characters has just become a vampire, and is bemoaning that fact.  Another newly-made vampire comes to her and tells her that she understands her pain and confusion, but that there’s another side to their situation, a positive side.  “Don’t you understand,” the slightly-older vampire says, “we’re gonna live forever.  We’re gonna be young forever.”  This sort of does cheer the other one up, but it sure didn’t cheer me up.

That’s got to be one of the great draws of vampire fiction--the idea that somebody could not only stay alive, but stay young forever.  Imagine what you could accomplish.  Imagine what you could learn.  Imagine going to fuggin’ high school again and again, moving from town to town, taking Algebra and Biology and Civics and P.E. and Remedial Tic Tac Toe for a century.

Oh, wait, that’s a terrible idea.

But for others, the draw of never getting older, never getting sicker, never getting weaker, has to have enormous appeal.  What’s more, you get to be more powerful than you ever were, and just maybe, one of the beautiful people.  Pretty sweet deal, even if you have to contend with the Slayer and her posse sometime in the future.

I have wasted an awful lot of my life, letting cowardice and apathy and sloth pull me from my goals and dreams.  I could have accomplished so much, I could’ve been somebody, a contender.  I could have worked on my Irish accent, instead of still imitating the long-dead Jimmy Stewart and long-retired Sean Connery.

That’s not to say that every day of every .  . . what is it called when days are strung together? . . . has been wasted.  I have managed to pod cast, and make a little money, and bond with my nephews, and write several new stories (though Bill Shakespeare only knows if I’m actually getting better, since I’d rather stagnate than put myself out where someone could criticize me), which seem to be positives.

I often fantasize about going back in time and helping my younger self out.  Sometimes it’s with financial advice, knowing what to invest in, as long as it’s something small and fun, and nothing so lofty as lottery numbers and football scores.  But other times, I’m telling myself what not to do, and trying to inspire myself to go out and try more often, to stretch just a little to maybe grasp onto more than I have done.

It’s probably a common fantasy, though not quite as common as the one where I’ve discovered some mystic pheremone that seemingly gives me the charm of George Clooney,  the face of Brad Pitt, and the buttocks of Josef Stalin.

You know the one.

The fact of the matter is, I’ve made stupid choices, and developed stupid personality traits that have helped me get to this lonely, useless place in life.  But I can either wallow in my despair (and really uncomfortable left leg), or I can choose to keep on keeping on, just to see if I can’t still learn something, and maybe even change, improve one or two things that I don't do so well.

I saw a girl dressed as Disney’s Pocahontas today.  While it’s not one of my favorite films, I do remember her claiming that something great, something unexpected, something amazing, could be lying just around the river bend.

Happy birthday, Harrison Ford and Patrick Stewart.  Hopefully, you can go to a “Firefly” reunion today too.  Or something you’ll dig just as much.

Rish Outfield

*Also, I got a bit of a leg cramp, and I sort of put two and two together.


Seraph said...

Oh man - that's not cool. Sorry you didn't get to see either of those two panels. Those lines sound insane. I guess that's one good thing about living at about furthest point possible from Comic-Con - I can't entertain ANY ideas about getting even remotely close to the event at all ! There's only one real pop-culture convention that gets run in this country - and it's usually pretty lame. And now that I have to look after small children, I don't even get to that anymore !


And getting older ? Yup - it sucks. But it beats the alternative. Stiff upper lip old boy - you're doing some cool things.

Rish Outfield said...

I hadn't intended to post both my hopeful and hopeless scribblings at the same time. In splitting them up, I already had a bit of perspective, so I tried to put a more positive cap on my depressed writings.