I’m sitting at a coffee shop called “The Greenhouse Effect” with Tara. It’s a Sunday evening, we’re outside, sipping iced teas, and enjoying the beautiful evening. She’s studying for her board exam, and I’m scratching random, incomplete thoughts into a leather-bound notebook I bought a year or so ago thinking I’d move up from the spiral-bound notebooks (college ruled, preferably) that I had traditionally written poetry in. Consequently, my poetic muse left me about the same time of the purchase and I haven’t managed to write a poem that’s worth a shit since.
I guess all I’m really trying to say here is that I feel guilty having this nice notebook, and never writing in it. Therefore, the rough draft of this post was scribbled into its mostly empty pages. I did enjoy this, despite the fact that, when I got done, there was no “Publish” button, and now I’m stuck typing the damn thing.
Now I transition somewhat awkwardly to my actual topic: Artistic people. There’s some sort of open mic night at the coffee shop tonight, and the place is crawling with flannel shirts, beanies(even though it’s friggin’ summer), Vans slip-ons, hookahs with LEDs in them, acoustic guitars, and anything else that hipsters wear/carry in 2010.
The guys with the Hookah and the guitars are particularly boisterous, and keep shouting weird mash-ups of pop culture references and stuff of their own invention. I know I probably sound like I’m 70 describing them like this, but I’m really not annoyed with them—I’m actually quite amused (Tara, on the other hand, is concerned that she’ll have to shower again thanks to all the smoke). For whatever reason, artsy people have always fascinated me. I think it’s a combination of envy of their free spirits and lack of fear to take risks in their respective mediums (these guys keep breaking out into song) that probably stems from my own creative urges, and disbelief that a person could arrive at a state of arrested development (suck it, Michael Cera) at age 23 and perpetually remain in those golden years between childhood and adulthood, yet at the same time, somehow manage to make a living.
Being an engineer, I’m probably closer to Autistic than Artistic. I love going to the same job everyday for 8 hours, 40 hours a week (42.5 to be exact). I love getting a paycheck twice a month that is always the same amount. I love health insurance and paid vacation. I love having a scoop for the coffee so I know I’m getting exactly the right amount of beans every morning. But I still can’t help but admire the free spirit lifestyle. I want to take a 4 month road trip at the drop of a hat. I want to bum out at the coffee shop on a weekday morning. I want to wear beanies in the summer (actually, no I don’t, not in the slightest. I can barely stand leaving mine on when I step out of the cold into the grocery store in the winter). And this is the conflict: How does one be successful and have security, but be free at the same time? Retirement? Who knows? What a paradox!
In the mean time, I think I’ll choose steady income and rewarding job, and settle for weekend adventures. I do love not working on the weekend. After all, marriage is an adventure—an incredible adventure! Then there will be kids—it’ll be a blast!