29 August, 2013

Yes.

Why do so many of us spend our lives being unhappy? That question percolated in my mind as I shifted in my seat and watched the policeman ask a middle aged black man for ID and his ticket at the airport. I didn't have my ticket but also had the feeling they weren't going to bother approaching me. The black man left and I sat, just trying to stay awake after the red eye from Boston, waiting for the busses that wouldn't run for another hour.

What is the meaning of life?, I wondered, realizing that this was a wholly bourgeousie affair. Although I had been a homeless wanderer, I was and am resolutely middle-classed, white and priviliged. I survived homelessness because I was never where that black man was, I would or could never know the depths of depravity suffered by half the world forced to work, who didn't have the time or ability to question what it is they did. Who were too tired.

Would you like a croissant with that? the lady asked as she handed me my coffee at 6 in the morning. The lady didn't look like she wanted to be there, and I couldn't blame her. I got out my computer and started planning my approach to California. I looked at room rentals and places to stay in Cali and was disheartened to see that I would likely be stuck in some crappy apartment again and I wished I was better at enduring things like that. It's not about being comfortable and happy, I reminded myself, it's about the bigger picture.

I reminded myself that I was moving on from a lot of unhealthy codependency in Seattle and that I was following my dream as an artist and that life wouldn't necessarily be easy.

When I arrived on the red-eye I was depressed. I didn't want to be in the rainy city. I was disgusted by the coldness of the people, the sterileness of the architecture, the blandness of the culture. As I rode the bus, I was reminded of how over the past 4 years, Seattle has become home. I was overcome with wanting to connect with old friends, go to see interesting, quirky art installations and coffee shops.
I reminded myself to look at the bigger picture.
At least you're not working at Starbucks, I reminded myself.
But maybe one day you'll have to.
Perhaps. But I will always have my art and I can make a life I am proud of.
Even if you are poor and living in squalor.
Yes.
Even if I am poor and depressed and living in squalor.

I looked out the window of the American Hotel in Seattle. ($26 a night and free breakfast and wifi) and was overcome with no emotion whatsoever. Life goes on and so we all do.