We all get to be the focus of our own private novel, the lead of our movie, the hero of our epic. Bravely we battle the Visigoths at work, we resist the Delilahs of our romantic lives. We are fighting the good fight and damn, baby, we look good doing it. We did the best we could, so we hold ourselves blameless.

Or we're the villain. We feel like Iago, only with a conscience, like we engineered the ills around us. Somewhat ironically we envy Iago, or anyone else who creates evil in the world and seems to get to enjoy it without the guilt: all we do is make ourselves miserable. We ruin our jobs, our relationships, our families. The world around us would be happier without us.


How important do you think you are?

Everything is, and that can sound terribly dull, because to the ever-active ego in search of stimulation, it is. We desperately need confirmation of our own importance, even of infamy, because we think that validation will make the gnawing inside go away. One more promotion, one more prize, one more relationship, all of these things might be the last one, the final, the ultimate satisfaction, and all the time we're scrambling around focusing on the future or the past or dear God anything but right now, we're dying. Dying. D-y-i-n-g. Not necessarily quickly, but there it is. Whatever your theology, we have a limited ride here on earth, maybe the one thing we all really have in common. A flash of lightning in a storm, as Buddha says. We make choices and tradeoffs: I spend eight hours a day in a fluorescent-lit office 45 minutes away from home (without traffic) so I can live in this nice house, drive my own car (no, it's not a nice car, and the trunk doesn't open at the moment, but it's mine), travel, and eat sushi, as well as save money for a time when I won't be able to work even if I want to. I'm sometimes a little cranky about this choice, because it's not always fun, but this is what I've decided to do rather than sleep on the street and eat out of dumpsters (a viable option, since I don't have kids).

I'm still a bit unfocused, a leftover from the accident. It doesn't help that I seem to need new glasses. I'm learning to focus in a new way, I guess. The accident coincided with a somewhat sudden crunch at work, so I think I've been struck with a whole bunch of stress at once, and it's affecting my mood. Except I can feel my mood tied to the Shadow...everything, the depression, the sadness, the loneliness, it's as if everything negative I've ever felt springs from this one source of endless anger. And I can feel it, and I'm still okay.

It's wonderful, in its way.