Sunday, April 16, 2006

Listening to Radiohead's "Kid A" reminds me of a time when I had to listen to this stuff to get into the correct, melancholy mood for a certain kind of writing. Now, I live right in the middle of it.

People say you're selfish if you don't have kids because it's true. You feel like you have a purpose (not a porpoise, though that would be cool). When you have a kid, you see your life not as a winding road or journey or puzzle but as a block of time, separated by decades during which you will do the predictable things necessary to the raising of a kid.

I don't think my life is over. The most meaningful part has just begun. Plus, my family would make it possible even now for me to go to school, or publish books, or fight. Whatever I wanted, and probably more. But the needs of a baby break life down into such simple bullet points - eat, sleep, shit, laugh - that it loses much of its mystery. Where I felt myself flailing for meaning much of the time before, now it's all very simple: be born, give birth, die.

No longer do I hope for a purpose in life. I don't understand people who have to believe they have a purpose. If people have purposes (now I'm picturing them as porpoises), then it stands to reason that most of the population's purpose is to serve coffee to the people with higher purposes. There must be little purposes and big ones, little baby porpoises and...

...oh god that reminds me, today while I was on my run that wasn't really a run, I saw the tiniest ducklings, swimming in a creek with their parents.

And at church, there were people with their kids, all of us with the same porpoise, and all the moms looked like moms. They had mom clothes and mom hair and mom mannerisms. You ever talk to someone who was friends with your mom back in the day, and the woman they talk about sounds like a stranger? There's no fighting the archetypes: once you're a mom, you're a mom, and anything else is pathetic.

No, I don't believe in porpoises anymore. I believe in choice.



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