The Waiting Room

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Excerpt from – “A Box of Broken Toys”



It happened again this morning. You awake and realize the fervor of youth has matured into indifference on all levels. The hubris you courted so intently is but a shadow that occasionally passes by your mind’s eye. That memory, both sweet and bitter, was an essential ingredient in your life’s blood and concentrated in every breath you took. Now it no longer remains on your list of requirements or possibilities.

You’re not sure when it happened, but realize all the pent-up fury that translated into ‘getting it done’ is nowhere to be found. Once it was like a second skin requiring no extra effort to attain – or maintain. Now, anticipating the effort is far too annoying because you believe the end result isn’t worth the expended energy.

What kept you up and going, spirited, alive, interesting, formidable is no longer available. You are physically and emotionally spent. The critical is transformed into the mundane. Though you want to breathe a sigh of relief, guilt invades your very being and a hint of panic waits patiently in the background.

All in due time fails to have any place in your vocabulary and the heartbreak is – it doesn’t matter. You no longer seek what kept you going all these years. Urgency in any matter is gone and the indifference you fought for so long is now a constant companion – and a friend.

Your sphere becomes a waiting room where nothing of interest sits atop the skewed pile of reading materials. That ‘one day’ is here and offers disappointment and boredom. The end game is a let down of immeasurable proportions and you care not to try and change the score. Your boundless mental energy is depleted and you don’t mind.

Your morning coffee is accompanied by tedium and you willingly accept this new companion. Kierkegaard noted, “boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.”

And, as you resolutely bow your head, you admit it is comfortable. It is now a safe place. It offers quietness for your soul. Edgar had been right all along.

But, it is sad.


Photo: George Tooker, Sleepers II