Earlier this week I was sitting with some friends when I realized something: I was talking about myself. Not just talking, but, you know, talking. I noticed the glazed look in their eyes, the fact that they didn't care that I was unemployed, that I was destined to be a loafer. But I kept going. Why? Because that's me. That's just what I do.
After some careful consideration I've discovered the root of this problem: I'm obsessed about obsessing. It just happens. Most people think linearly -- from A to B to C. Me, on the other hand, I'll jump from A to Z and then wonder what the hell is so special about skipping to Z. I'm a mess. I'll watch my thoughts wander like a fumbling, impotent frat boy, wrestling pathetically with a bra strap. And really, I don't care about the bra strap. I just want to know why I'm staring at it.
I wish I could say that this is a new development, this obsession with my obsessions. It's not. As a seven year old, when most of my peers were wondering what was in their lunches, I wanted to know why I was wondering what Deb (what I have affectionately called my mother since age four) had put in my lunch. Was it a traditional PB&J? Turkey? A nice foie gras, perhaps? Frankly, my dears, I didn't give a damn -- and I wanted to know why. I was a second grade existentialist, sipping a Diet Coke and smoking a cigarette while the rest of my friends mindlessly pounded handballs. Oh, mon dieu, the ennui.
Things -- as they so often do -- progressed from bad to worse. By seventh grade, two psychologists had washed their hands of me. After suggesting treatments ranging from lithium to the rack, they simply dubbed me unfixable. I was a lame racehorse -- a poor, unfortunate beast who failed to leave the gates while wondering why the fuck I wanted to run around a track.
Don't worry. I don't get it either.
And so that brings us to Tuesday. I knew no one was listening, that they were more concerned with their sweaty asses clinging to the metallic seats. I also knew that I was obsessing about obsessing; I was the inebriated frat boy, the lame racehorse. But like a soccer mom with painkillers, my mouth just didn't know when to quit. My friends gave rehearsed nods at the appropriate times, and then went back to shifting from cheek to cheek. And that was fine with me.
Some people may say that I'm narcissistic, others may say that I'm negative and cynical. The fact is, I'm neither. To tell you the truth, I don't like hearing myself think, let alone talk. But sometimes, you need to throw Z out there. Sometimes it's healthy to ask why you're running the race in the first place. That way, when you win, you'll know exactly what it was for.