The abstract has structure too. A base on which things are built. It's simple physics. If the foundation loses its structural integrity, there is risk of collapse. I'm an engineer, I should understand that.
But what I was doing felt too much like floating. Why worry about physics if I'm defying gravity?
But I wasn't. I'd been trying to tell myself that. The cruise was terminal.
The road had not yet been built.
This thought had not yet fully manifested. A gentle knocking. A wisdom nugget shaken loose after months of introspective calcification. I ignored it.
Instead, realization came in the form of a collision. Pedaling down a road, I was struck by a bus.
Inversion is exhilarating. Disorientation. Lack of control. I prefer it when intentional. And over water.
Cool refreshing water.
Feet near the edge. Deep breath. Bend knees. Leap. Arched back. Water spins into view, then rocks, then sky again. Look down in time to watch my feet hit. Upon impact the water breaks. Being submerged. Ice cold. The invigorating chill charges the body from toes to nose.
No water here. This inversion was flanked by large crush capable vehicle and curb. My pedal powered buffer between my dynamic self and the pavement was bus-punched out from under. The unexpectedness made for adrenaline fueled hyperconsciousness pumping to the point of slow motion. Instinct took over. Chin tucked, arms up. It felt so natural. So smooth.
The pavement did not break.
There was no splash.
What I first felt was embarrassment. I do not like to fall off my bike. I needed to catch up to Tugboat who was riding ahead.
I just got hit by a bus.
My ride lay in bent rest on the sidewalk. I looked down to see my hands dripping blood. As the sting from my intense road rash set in, so did the awareness of my less than ideal circumstances.
I wanted a couch. My own. One on which I could sprawl out and fart unabashedly. A bottle of bourbon. Some Papa Rico mac and cheese. The soothing company of Walter White. I'd be well on my way to recovery.
Not a road.
My emotions, I'd tucked them away like bright easter eggs. And rather than prancing with intentionality to collect them all, I waited for a bus, to take a swing at my brain basket. My worries, fears, my tucked away insecurities tumbled and smashed in a dazzling way on the hard blood stained pavement of life.
Just like eggs.
Why couldn't I see it before?
Things look different upside down.
Abraham Maslow, the Emmett Brown of psychology. Instead of time travel, he chases self-actualization, which most times seems just as elusive. His flux capacitor is the hierarchy of needs.
The hierarchy is this magic pyramid attempting to explain what exactly human beings need in order to kick ass. To reach true human potential.
My recent lifestyle has been an accidental practical examination of the tiers and their corresponding elements.
Can replace love?
Can replace employment?
Can replace a home?
Non-conformity sure is exotic. And it was fun, for a little while. Thing is, each element of that hierarchy is like an anatomical joint. Removing them can be crippling.
But I like to learn things for myself.
Knacked, KEN, this unwieldy beast of a dream, is perched on top of my pyramid. I give her my time, my love, my hard work. She voraciously consumes it all without question, growing fat. Huge. Heavy. Like Jabba the Hutt. She deserves it.
Meanwhile, I get the misguided sense that my life had grown complicated and clunky. Shackled with superfluousities. Clogged with unnecessaries.
As a kid I would take things apart. Examine the mechanisms. Learn. Reassemble. Is life any different? A confident tinkerer, I dive right in. But in the end, it turns out I'm more like Kathy Bates working on James Caan.
Hard to run or even stand, much less support the dense load of a dream.
But I had wheels, so I kept rolling forward. Trying to build something on top of nothing. Drifting forward on the only path I'd left open. But like floating down a river, it made avoiding obstacles difficult, and collisions inevitable.
I just wasn't expecting something so literal. Buses hurt. But being submerged in the shocking reality I'd been avoiding was much more painful than the bus/pavement two punch combo.
That cold truth hurt. It was also exhilarating. With it came a clarity I did not have before. I saw every obstacle and what I needed to do to get through.
At the end of that, a place to start again.
My reintroduction to gravity. A brush up on some elementary physics. It had been a while.
It was 8 months ago yesterday.
Slinging sandwiches for some steady money, I found myself a nice home, and some nicer people. It may just be snot and duct tape holding my pyramid together, but it feels a hell of a lot sturdier.
And so am I.
Ready for another go, I find myself in a familiar place.
But not the same.