I am not the worst son parents could have and I am not the best. Where I fall on that continuum I don’t know. But as my parents have aged before my eyes, I know that I have not done enough for them. The son they raised is as stubborn and independent as they are, and as isolated as a consequence. Where I stand in life, I see the tremendous benefits from not needing anyone, but I wonder when and how much I’ll pay for that.

Riding my bike through England last summer I realized that living in the moment without fear of the future is not just liberating but empowering. People do or don’t do largely out of fear or hope for the future built on memories or resentments of the past. And they accrue people and things, relationships. I don’t have any of that, at least not that I won’t give up to survive and stand my ground.

An intimate, sustainable, monogamous relationship has eluded me just as steady employment or professional affiliation has. I cheat on my companions and I cheat on my jobs; I got in to trouble at my last 9 to 5s because I was doing other things on the side. Have these long-term, dedicated relationships eluded me, or have I been eluding them?

And you are gonna bear with me
'Cause I can't work a job,
Like any other slob,
Punchin' in and punchin' out
And suckin' up to Bob.
Marryin' a bi-atch,
Havin' Seven ki-ads,
Givin' up and growin' old,
And hopin' there's a god.

That’s Weezer from Troublemaker. Something loftier?

“Heia age, rumpe moras. Varium et mutabile semper
femina.” Sic fatus, nocti se immiscuit atrae.

That’s when Aeneas leaves Carthage and Dido in the middle of the night from the Aeneid.

Next entry, Origins