It’s the first of the year, and I’m drinking a beer so good it may actually get me to drink beer again. I don’t normally drink (let alone beer—this is my first in over a year), but part of that is because when I drink I get obnoxious. I’ve always said that drinking doesn’t change you, it makes you more you. So if you’re a mean dick, you turn into a stupendous asshole. If you’re already a stupendous asshole, God help you.

Anyway, I’m drinking this beer (a Mad Anthony’s Auburn Lager, made here in Fort Wayne), and my wife is cleaning the sun room/library thing we have, and her parents are upstairs trying to sleep before they get back on the train home. The cat is knocking over the vinyl, and the wind is howling, and I’m sitting here writing, because I frankly can’t think of much better to do. I don’t really know what to even write about, but obviously I feel like there’s something in there, because I sat down and fired up Word and here we are. I guess we’ll find it when we get there.

A week and a half ago, I turned thirty. While this is milestone for most people because it’s when they hit middle age and start worrying about their houses and kids’ educations and shit, I just sort of flew past it without much of a thought. And I don’t really think much of it now. My entire adult life (to this point, anyway) has felt like an extended adolescence, I guess. Maybe not even adolescence, but I just don’t feel like (aside from no longer being an asshole drunk womanizer, and the whole “having a kid” thing) my life has really moved on from about 25 or so. Which is odd, considering the whole “having a kid” thing is supposed to be one of those life-changing things.

And I suppose it is. I mean, my plans no longer include staying up until 5am playing board games and drinking until I barely remember what happened, and I largely don’t spend my spare time chasing women I have no chance of landing. For the most part, life has, I guess, settled down. Which worries me, because I’d always had grand designs of moving to Chicago or New York or London or Stockholm or somewhere else large and busy and cosmopolitan and simply Anywhere But Here. I’m slowly watching that plan slip away.

It’s not even a mortality thing; I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of failing to live, of not living up to my potential or hitting the marks other people set for me. Not that I’d call it fear, so much as anxiety. Which is, I guess, a stage of fear, but not really the same thing.

In any case, 2011 was a hell of a year because I found out that I’m essentially in the same boat I was in ten fucking years ago (school is still full of idiot students and idiot professors, with less Good Eggs than I can count on one hand) except through the lens of having experienced it all already. Nothing new under the sun, and all that. Especially tired clichés. (That’s lampshade-hanging, you see.) (So was that last parenthetical. And this one. I could do this all night, really.) There’s probably something about turning into my dad that would go here, too. One of those whiny little daddy-issue things.

I own a house now. By which I mean my wife owns a house and pays the mortgage and bought a car and pays for all the food, and I just keep everything moving, but just barely. I feel like I’m probably expendable, though I’m sure my wife would say otherwise. So now I’m sitting here, listening to the wind and the house creak and watching my wife scurry about, putting things into bags and turning out lights, and I largely feel like 2012 probably won’t see much progress. I feel like this is probably the point where I should make resolutions (make more submissions to journals or something, write more songs, do better in school, lose weight, whatever), but I’m just here, drinking and writing and thinking about Don Quixote mocking me from the other room, still unfinished (the book, not the room) and how I have a stack of things still to get to that I may never will simply because I’m lazy. Or something. It’s not really that I’m lazy or that I don’t care; it’s more that I just don’t feel like there’s all that much to do that I have to do, or that I can make better by having me specifically do it. Nor is it likely that there’s a penalty to my not finishing Don Quixote or catching up on Kick-Ass 2 or watching any number of movies we bought that I haven’t watched or books we have that I haven’t read or anything like that.

I think, more than anything, the urgency has gone out of my life, so I manufacture it out of procrastination and faux deadlines (that I still ignore anyway), as if the pressure will make me work. Obviously it doesn’t, so now I just sit here feeling useless and writing terrible dreck for the whole internet to read.

Thanks, I guess.

ANYWAY (as my arch-nemesis-who-doesn’t know-it is fond of saying), I’m getting to the point of winding all this down to some sort of conclusion, and I don’t think there is one, and I think that’s my point. Maybe. My whole life is just one open-ended essay answer, and here I am bullshitting through it like a freshman history exam. And now you’re reading it.

And now my wife has gone upstairs, having finished her cleaning. This should probably tie in somehow, as a bookend of sorts, but I’d really just have to say something about this beer I’m still drinking. It’s a pretty good beer, I guess.

But I don’t think I’ll make a habit out of it.

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