15 May 2010

My 35 Years without Opera

Imagine, if you will, that when my godmother invited me to the opera on 15 May 1975, I said, “No thanks.” What would my life have been like? Here’s a sugestion ... submitted for your approval.

My name is Bill. That’s me, doing a little shopping at the supermarket on the way home from work. Middle-aged, heavy-set. No, not that guy, the other guy. Yeah. I’m the one in the grey overcoat. I know it’s mid-May, but the weather’s been so changeable, and you can’t be too careful. Especially in the frozen-food section.

I’m just picking up a few TV dinners for next week. I’m not surprised you didn’t notice me. Why would you? It’s been a long time since I thought I was anybody special. Not since I was in junior high, if you want to know.

Back then, I wanted to be a writer. But then — what’s the expression? “I put away the things of a child.” The older I got, the more pointless it seemed, really. Like studying French. Mother said why not study accounting, it’s so practical. So I did.

I’ve been with Consolidated Office Supplies for a long time. Hard to count the years: one day is just like any other. Now that so many offices are going “paperless,” though, we’ve had layoffs. I’m probably next. Nothing I can do about it.

I play a lot of video games. That’s my idea of excitement, I guess. There’s never anything good on TV. I don’t listen to much music. It’s just something in the background. Somebody else’s background, not mine. I see people getting excited about a song, and I just don’t understand what the big deal is. I don’t read much. Nothing really holds my interest, you know?

Funny to think that I ever wanted to write, or travel, or see a play. What made me want those things? I don’t remember. Maybe it was sex. Everything comes down to that, right? I tried dating a couple of actresses when I was in college. It never worked out. I live alone now.

That’s my story — no story at all, really.

This exercise was so depressing that it requires an antidote.
Fortunately, Marilyn Horne has provided one.


Amy B said...

Well damn. That really IS a Twilight Zone rendition of your life! Thanks for the sad, awkward laugh...

one of your many ex gfs said...

This exercise is so depressing, it reminds me of my life. Going through a hellish midlife crisis of late. Glad you followed your muse,though !