I always enjoyed movies about being lost; lost in the wilderness, in the apocalypse, in stations floating through space. Every time I watch, the stories are a new adventure as I put my planning to the test. Shelter then food? Address the rampaging alien or the failing navigation first? Shoot a thief, imprison them, or exile them? The older I become, the more places I visit, the more I learn–the more I bring to the table that go ’round.
Shelter unless temperate climate, then scout first. Alien, always get the damned alien…with fire. Depends on what they stole, but exhiles always come back in the third act and you have to kill them anyways.
Then I grew through the heart of my youth and found a new way to be lost. All of us children playing adults waxed romantic on these undiscovered plights we found waiting for us as we wandered from home. Now there were new movies about being lost, the Twentysomething flicks poured out of theaters. Listless, hopeless, misunderstood–this was what it meant to be a castaway. Continuing education, free summers, wandering the city, navigating bars, surviving adult sex; this was my labyrinth and I was without a string to navigate.
Cue the minotaur. This time lowering its horns as pregnancy scares, no job, missing opportunities, and never finding myself.
Oh, the humanity!
I sit at my desk at work and think back on my days lost in the labyrinth. Making naked snow angels when the city shut down. Trying to recreate my 21st birthday with the stolen clues my drunk doppelganger left on the floor. Brewing beer and having to drink all of the old batch to make room for the new. Smoking cigars, buzzing, and listening to music on the back porch in summer. One night stands where nobody felt ashamed of waking up. First times at strip clubs. Hangover cures. Wandering. Talking to friends (forgotten now) that I loved like family. Stupid movies, stupid music, stupid clothes I’d treated like gold. Concerts where I’d gone hoarse singing along. The heartless pranks.
Oh, the agony! Oh, the brutal tortures of reckless abandon!
I picked up my keyboard from the desk and split it over my softening thigh. I put the pieces carefully back, paying my respects to the dead. At Target, The Edge was on sale and if I left now I’d beat the traffic.
I was always happier lost.