|Sparkle and fade...
The last bits of toenail polish from my October pedicure have almost fully grown out and it is March. Gold sparkles on the corner of my big toe, reminding me of habits, of sloth, of luxuries, of possibilities and of loyalties. I let a friend down on the most important day of her life for an amazing concert that I was too drunk to enjoy. Both wouldn’t happen again and one left someone I loved to wonder about my character; the other I got lost in.
Do I care about anything anymore?
I am in a foreign country and hardly leave the house, it is too cold, I don’t know anyone, but mostly I am not at all inspired to explore and that scares the shit out of me. When did I lose the flame that gives me hope. My friends all write that they miss me.
Am I the same as I always have been or have I shrunk into a peal of my former self?
Something discarded to slip on. Is that gold sparkle the last thing about me that shines?
I am so tired and dull. I have so many questions and no ambitions to find out the answers, I sit around and wonder without a sense of it. Hope is an illusive friend, but one you need to live. I was reading a really watered down version of, “Of Mice and Men,” today with some uninterested Turkish high school students and trying to explain why Lennie keeps repeating the line, and “we’ll live off the fat of the land” and asking George to tell him about the farm and the rabbits. I asked them if they thought that they would ever reach that farm. In typical teenage fashion they weren’t impressed or challenged by the question. It seemed realistic enough to a group of kids, at a private school who have never left their parents’ homes, that this simple dream could come true.
It probably did to me the first time that I read it as well.
The lens which I see the story now is completely different and even with Steinbeck’s prose reduced to paltry straightforwardness, I still felt the profound sadness in their musings. They were never going to get what they wanted, because Steinbeck is a realist, and Lennie, like a lot of people, loves things to death. The “farm” is the thing we always want but probably won’t ever get and therein lies the human condition. As one of my University professors once spat out in a rage of decline;" you are not special, none of you, no matter what your parents have told you." I didn't believe him then, but maybe there reaches a time in all of our lives that we realize this and it is hard to imagine, shattering even, when our sparkle begins to fade and all of the gold grows out.