Adulthood is where dreams come to die. Not long ago, I caught myself talking to my best friend about our 401ks debating the merits of a traditional versus Roth. And I wanted to take a pre-tax razor blade to my wrists. At end of an absurd work week, I am fantasizing about a finding a few hours to myself to play some pinball, listen to some tapes, and pet some neighbor cats.

I took a position at my company which, by all rights, is a mark of success. I wear slacks to work and have a clunky work assigned laptop. And none of it matters at all. I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me.

For the past twenty plus years, I've spent my days chasing artistic endeavors. Though they morphed and changed over the years, in some capacity I was writing, performing, or creating something trivial with my friends. But, however inconsequential our pursuits were, they were heroically important to us. I loved each of my tiny projects like a child. My friends and I poured over every frame of our terrible comedy sketches. I've stayed up until 3AM rounding corners of a 'zine twenty people have ever read. And I once played my guitar for so long in preparation of a studio session, I had to record the record with duck tape thimbles on my fingers so I wouldn't bleed all over the strings.

Now, I make spreadsheets. The inflation machine is a meat grinder of dreams. I never thought twice about having a checking account balance roughly in line with temperature of a hot summer day.

But like a horror movie, I watched my cohorts drop off one by one. To marriage, children, careers, and the other trappings of adulthood. Suddenly my ocean of talented peers became a kiddie pool with a used Band-Aids clogging the drain. And, dear reader, I am among them. My alarm is set for 5:15AM tomorrow, my suitcase is packed, and my shirts are ironed and hanging neatly in the closet. Tired eyes, 12 hour days, will lose.

My bank account bled out like a stomach gunshot wound. Something had to be done. My life of leisure and carefree creativity was no longer sustainable. It was bedtime for the Lost Boys. But holy shit, I was not prepared for this.

For context, I've been working for Company X for twenty-two years. I started out at $10 an hour and lived in an apartment the year I graduated high school that is larger than my current apartment at like four times the cost. Late-stage capitalism is no joke. I feel like I'm keeping my head above water and can order Door Dash without financially crippling myself. But that's as far as the money goes. And I'm being fairly compensated. That's the insane part. I've traded my dreams for financial stability and my finances are not even that fucking stable. 

The Pandemic fucked so many people's lives. They lost both their creative freedom and their financial security. And some of them lost family, loved ones, and friends. I don't even qualify for the Pain Olympics Junior Varsity B-Team. But, in a minor way, I still lament the loss of the life I had. I wasn't necessarily happier. But, I was more satisfied. And I feel like the choice to chase that life became untenable.

So to Snow Burial, The Griffin Theatre company, Extra Ballsy, Now Playing Soon, NED Productions, my friends, family, every woman who's ever given me her love, and the countless other buckets I've crammed my dreams into, I offer the best line from an improv show I've ever heard, "I loved you worst than most, but to the best of my ability."

I'm off to work.    


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