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The jack stands alone
The June breezes caper in through my windows; they are gentle, warm and born of the most effortless kind of magic. This month has always been my favorite, and yes, part of that stems from my birthday - relics of childhood in which one's birthday was a mystical, special day that one had all to one's self. This year, I am turning 30. So it seems an appropriate time for an identity crisis.

It began at the May Day parade on Mother's Day. Something like this always happens at the May Day parade. I see the lovely and enviable alternative boys - the spiritualists and the artists, the bike-makers and music-weavers and stilt-walkers and jugglers and puppeteers and dreds and tattoos and neon hair. I see people so comfortable in something so amazing, and so purely unique and personal. I grow jealous. I want them. I want to be them. I stand on the sidelines with my bland, fat little body, dressed in clothes designed for the masses, with a life lived in a desk chair. I am embarrassed by myself, feeling like an outsider from the outsiders.

So I try to comfort myself with 'At least I...', and every time I try to walk down that path, I end up in a confused and lonely place. Because I don't feel like I am anything - I'm not connected to anything the same way these people are, living their lives together on the same patchwork tapestry. With 30 looming for me, it all hits me harder.

I feel that way among the dancers, and in the theater. I feel that way among the nerds and the foodies and the gays and the pagans. As if at some point in my life, I should have cast my lot more strongly with one crowd, with one community. Perhaps not to the full exclusion of others, but to the point where I could feel like I am enough of something to not just be a ghost on the fringe of those who actually do things with their life.

One reason I did not is because I am greedy, and I cannot give up the potential of one for the reality of another. I revel in my ability as a jack of all trades, even as the returns diminish over my life's path. I could run and join the alternative boys, but if that would mean casting off my choice of fine restaurants or my indulgence in electronics or my dreams of owning the perfect house, I cannot do it. I want to be a part of everywhere, and so cannot be a part of anywhere.

Another reason is quite simply my timid arrogance. For so long I have been content to be a quiet dreamer, believing that someday someone will come and ask me for my dreams, for my dreams are great and powerful things. The less often that people asked for them (the college-years are gone, so long gone), the more I thought I just had to dream HARDER and then surely someone would invite me to dance in their drum circle or to star in their play. And then I wouldn't have had to do anything at all except be me.

So the third reason is clearly fear. Because putting forth an effort could mean failure. Because putting myself out there for people could mean rejection. Because moving in one direction might be the wrong one.

So I have withdrawn myself into a tower, which fills itself with bitter envy. I cherish my stillness and solitude, because it is when I am safest. I venture out on occasion, to tend to my little gardens of each part of the world I wish I was immersed in. And I wish for something to snag me, to catch on some innate part of myself, and carry me along to... what?

I like who I am, for the most part.

I like the life I lead, but it is a thing that feels disconnected from LIFE sometimes.

I don't know what I am, if I'm supposed tobe anything at all.

These feel the musings of a dreamer that has let himself grow comfortable, and has atrophied. The world and the wonderful people in it have given me much, and I am just too arrogant to be grateful for it. The ponds have gotten bigger, and I have been unable to deal with the size of my scales. I should seek out not comfort or reassurance, but lessons in all this.

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Sing it.

We should hang out and make stuff with some kind of regularity, now that I'm not hundreds of miles away. Not so much as a measure of worth, but as a way of bleeding out the things into the world that need to be there instead of letting them dry up inside before they get the chance to see the light of day.

What kind of magic are you making these days?

Are you in dancing shape? I might need a dancer for a show this autumn.

In dancing shape, though not in dancer's shape. Reawakening the body might be a good summer goal for me.

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