Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Touch of Grey

I look good today. I’m dressed in a powder blue button-down shirt with white stripes, a pair of light khaki pants, and loafers with no socks. Actually, I’m wearing socks, but they’re those ankle socks that make it look like I’m not wearing any. I look like a guy who just came from the beach. Or maybe like I’m Australian. What I don’t look like, for once, is a bull-in-a-china-shop ex-thug who doesn’t belong doing a job one does with one’s mind.

That’s always the battle for me – fitting in. Or maybe not fitting in, exactly, but not looking like a guy who’s so unfamiliar with my surroundings that I’m going through my days in a state of perpetual discomfort. I know I fit in with regard to my ability to do my work. In fact, I actually may not fit in there, because I’m very, very good at what I do, and I stand out for it. My discomfort is more related to shitty self-esteem, a distorted notion of what I look like relative to everyone else, and just general dissatisfaction with the person I’d turned myself into over a span of about ten years.

But today, I look good. For once in a blue goddamned moon, I’m radiating some confidence. I’m finally noticing that people sometimes look at me on the subway, on the sidewalk and when I’m getting coffee – and they’re not looking at me like I’m some freakish sideshow with sixteen tons of baggage. They’re looking at me because I’m not that guy anymore – and maybe because I’m worth looking at to some people – and for the first time in a long time, I’m looking back at them without pulling my eyes away and pretending I wasn’t.

I know nobody wants to read this kind of introspective bullshit from me. Shit, man, I don’t want to write, read or think about it, either. I’m just making lots of jumps into God-knows-what lately without having any idea of what’s on the other side. It’s the first time I’ve gone after anything with this kind of abandon in a long, long time, and it feels fucking great, if you’ll pardon the irritating cliché, to land on enemy shores and burn the boats for once.

Took me a while to get my fingers moving again after I got back up, but my hands formed fists today. This sums it up quite nicely: