These will be referred to as the dark ages. Not that it isn't summer in Laurel Canyon, and the songbirds and the crows are communicating nicely across Horseshoe Canyon, not that the days aren't long as we meander towards the solstice. And not that on both sides of this there will be light and frivolity and truths and happy days under big oak trees and books to read and moments of great inspiration. I'm just talking about now, at this moment, in the graph that is my life, it's the dodgy bit in the middle. It's the green shield stamps catalog without the stamps, the arid part that hasn't seen rain for a while, the bit colored in tertiary because no-one could be bothered to come up with a better color. There is a sense of getting through it, of being Churchill, of soldiering on.
"If you thought you were going to break your bones and they wouldn't mend" said my therapist, "you wouldn't be so brave and jump those big jumps on your horse. Similarly, in relationships, you won't allow yourself to be vulnerable because all that represents to you is pain, and no way of healing it." I have a pretty impressed look on my face and he looks at me quizzically. I want to say "wow, Dr. B, you're good" but I just want to cry. No-one put their finger on it before. Not like that anyway. I'm scared to ask because I'm scared of not getting so I don't ask and I don't get. And only in one aspect of my life.
"I'm really brave" I say, trying not cry. "You must apologize for crying in here," he says. "That's why people come to me...to cry." I'm trying to find a joke but I can't. I stare at his face and I say "but I do want to cry. I want to cry for weeks in here. Just looking at your face makes me want to cry." He smiles then, kindly.
Three score and ten. Three score and twenty if we're lucky. Why then is there even a moment of not doing everything you can, of packing it all in in like a big, fat, overstuffed Christmas stocking -- all the things that you want to do, all the people you want to love, all the adventures you've dreamed about. Like Fred did. A whole big year of it.
Isn't that so much better than just soldiering on, waiting for your real life to reveal itself?