written by: Elisha BenNet
In my socks on a cloud of an island in my mind. I was in some godforsaken town outside of Philadelphia. Reading and eating dinner by myself across from an extended table of contemporaries who think they’re all friends despite the fact that they only seem to talk about work. Stuck out past Manayunk—where business sends hope to die—there seems to be a few towns that serve as truck stops. Imagine a destitute Jersey City: lavish with trendy chain eateries that are inexplicably always adjacent to hotels sporting ballrooms. The town planners knew exactly what they were doing when they put a Dave & Busters across the street.
So why am I here? For a job. A job that was a means to an end; relocation. Relocation to Philadelphia. In my head, that's where I want to be. I specify in my head because in reality, why am I moving? Is it because there are concerts there every night, or because girls there seem to think I’m cuter than the girls at home? If I had to sell it to someone, I would say it's because I fit in.
“Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer; it moves two steps further away. I walk another ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I'll never reach it. So what's the point of utopia? The point is this: to keep walking.” - Eduardo Galeano
I suffer from a certain strain of the disease of more. The disease of desire, and it never seems to end. I’m not out shopping every day. Instead, my symptoms manifest in an existential itchiness as if what I need is somewhere else. Change things up, live somewhere new, go into grad school undeclared, it all makes sense. The confusion is the worst part, and not knowing if it’s irrational or not. But, doing nothing is a choice, the worst choice.
So what if I were to leave? I can’t really leave. My friends & family are here. My life is here. I would be a tourist. Besides; I really love where I live, my friends, and my life. I’m not miserable, why would I be? I live by the water, it’s sick. New Jersey is sick. The world is so alluring, though. Why couldn’t I run some diner in the Gilmore Girls town? Living out my life with my asshole nephew where we share sexual tension with the same family? But there's stuff to do, and it’s not here.
It seems that I won’t be happy anywhere. I mean, you can’t have everything you want. Going through a door closes others. We’re in an opt-out, not opt-in system, and the opt-out path is an ugly way. If somebody told you that the reality of our situation is preconception, would you really subscribe?
So, I’ll keep walking. It’s all I can do here. I’m here. I might as well participate, make the most of it, and try to figure out what’s up.