Back in the olden days, when I was a junior in college, I took part in an experimental theatre production of Jules Feiffer’s Feiffer’s People, directed by my friend Alana Erickson. It was a lot of fun. I can’t remember which parts I played, or even which of the many sketches we did, but I do remember one in particular. It has fed my dreams ever since.
The Grown-Up: How do you do, Mr. Mergendeiler. I’m your grown up.
Bernard: You’re my what?
Grown-Up: Surely you’ve always wanted a grown-up? Somebody who takes over those petty day-to-day affairs which so complicate one’s life and who handles them cleanly and efficiently. Somebody who will not allow your insurance to lapse, your rent to fall overdue, your car to break down. Somebody who will not be nervous in regard to calling the landlord about repairs, the girl friend about breaking a date, the boss about a needed raise. In other words, somebody who is trained to do all those adult things too many of us have been asked to do since childhood and still can’t quite manage. Somebody who is willing and happy to stand on your own two feet for you, to fight all your battles, to make all your difficult decisions – i.e., your grown-up.
Bernard: You mean I won’t ever have to make a decision again?
Grown-Up: Once in your employ, I, your grown-up, will make them all!
Bernard: It’s unbelievable! It’s what I dreamed of all my life! What do you want me to pay you?
Grown-Up: Gee, I don’t know. What do you think I’m worth?
Oh yes. I would love to have my own grown-up.
But it seems that all I have is me. Especially nowadays, with my newly-emerged singlehood.
It sucks. Not only do I have to be my own grown-up, I also have to be my own house-boi, my own dietician & cook, my own accountant… aghhh. It’s endless.
But one rolls one’s sleeves up. One girds ones loins. One prepares oneself for the tasks ahead. Then one does them.
Okay, so a few days ago — on August 1, to be exact — a Facebook contact of mine pointed out that the fireweed was in bloom. For a lot of Alaskans, that can mean only one thing: that winter is not that far away. The thought roused my Inner Grown-Up. (Yes, enough of that Inner Child crap already!) It’s been nearly three years since I’ve lived in my current apartment. In that time I’ve not quite made it my home, for various reasons which I won’t go into here. (Some of those reasons should be obvious from prior posts over the past three years.) But the fireweed’s blooming, by the end of the month it’ll be in seed, the white of its cotton will soon be matched by the white of snow, & here’s the deal: by the time the snow flies, this apartment will be my home: a place that welcomes me after a long day’s work, a place that I can go somewhere else to write at because I want to, not just because my apartment is such a damn mess I can’t stand to be in it.
I vow it.
And so… this is what I’ve been up to the past few days, instead of posting more info about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance, or the remaining sillinesses of the now-departed Palin Administration, or much of anything else except my automatically deployed collection of daily tweets. Instead, I’ve been dealing with clutter. I’ve been sweeping up dog hair. I’ve been getting my finances in order. I’ve been looking around for the perfect new couch that will fit my budget & space, & I’ve found the perfect new bed, which I should be able to order with my next paycheck.
Oh yes, & the most important thing of all: getting back to my own writing. Granted that blog writing about political stuff, whether about equal rights or about this state’s governance, is writing, but it’ s not “my” stuff — it’s not the stuff I was put on this planet to write. Does not being a grown-up imply a certain responsiblity towards taking care of one’s own stuff, one’s own mission in life? Sure. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided that Saturdays in particular were about writing “my” stuff — not blog stuff — which is what my local meetup called Side Street Saturdays is about for me. With a cleaner, more homelike apartment, the ability to write will only be enhanced.
That isn’t to say I’ve given up ever writing about the political stuff, or that I won’t be there at the Assembly next Tuesday when, we all hope, the Assembly might actually enact an ordinance which provides equal protection from discrimination for LGBT people. But the fact is that my ability (mood, will, time) to write about any of that stuff is not necessarily consistent. Fortunately there are other grown-ups who also write about it. But my own stuff? — I’m the only grown-up who can take care of it. So that’s, first & foremost, what I’m going to do.