I’ve been craving tiramisu on the regular. How can something be perfectly wet? Every night I feed the cats and then crave tiramisu. The thought is forming into a habit. This happens with a lot of things. I have an arsenal of revolving obsessions. About once a year I go through a soccer phase, where I watch and play as much as I can. There’s a vinyl phase, where I want to cultivate and expand my record collection. A hat phase, a short window where I want a fedora of some kind to brush and model. A hiking phase, where I want to disconnect and focus on the connection between my heartbeat and the mountain breeze. Finally, a calm phase, where I don’t need to occupy my time with anything in order to distract myself from my anxiety. This reprieve is my favorite time of year. It’s the moment where I’m able to fully function and engage with others. It’s short-lived though, as it lasts as long as spring bloom. It’s a moment where I can read without distraction, listen to people without wondering off inside my own head, sit still and enjoy the present moment. I become who my parents wanted.
I don’t mean that to be mellow dramatic, rather it’s meant to point to the archetype of a happy child that every parent wants their kid to grow up to be. However, sometimes things take on their own shape. It’s just a fact, we can’t help how events reshape us. That’s why childhood photos of ourselves look all the more foreign the older we become. I remember talking to my grandma about aging and she said you become wiser but have less people to share it with. In the end all her friends were dead. I think, I don’t even have kids. How is my life going to look when the people in my life fade into the trees. I can say to the wall, I was one way until my divorce; I was this way until I stopped drinking; I was solid until my mother and father died; I was anchored to something until my wife died; I was okay until my chess partner at the senior center had a stroke. I am formless without anyone I knew available to lend me the signification I need to make the events of my life make sense.
Meaning is not solely made in the mind, but curated by the contact and memory of others. I suppose my anxiety is having exposed the truth that dying can be a family affair, but is commonly a solitary process. I want my life to have meant enough that my name is used for a while when I’m gone. Anything to stave off the slip into mortal obscurity that’s inevitable.
My cake phase will give way to a new preoccupation, but I’ll be thinking of other things.