Fade to Gray
July 14, 2009, 7:01 PM:
Over the past few days, my mind has been clogged with the subject of time.
Every song I hear, every passage I read, and every picture I see, seems to launch a memory and then a question of how much time has passed. Each time I think this way my heart sinks and I become sad. I wonder where the time has gone, why it has been given to me so freely and then just taken away. Sometimes I wish that memories did not exist and we could truly live one day at a time. Not looking back at what we've had and given away. Not regretting what we should have done. We could wake up only knowing that a new day is coming and that we should live it the best way possible. Every day would be like a television drama or situation comedy. I wake up, the credits role, and all I need to do to begin is give the camera a smile, point my finger at it with confidence, jump in my BMW and drive into the California morning. Wouldn't that be grand? No pain. No worries or responsibilities. No regrets. No memories. Only a 24 hour Prime Time program with cool music and a cast of beautiful people. When the show gets cancelled that is when you die. Brings reality television to a whole new level.
I don't know how each member of the human race views their day to day life, but I now realize that I've always seen my life through the lens of a make-believe camera. I have been the star of the longest running series in the history of my life. The series has had it's highs and lows. It's been filled with drama, comedy, sex, violence, romance, music and action. Luckily, considering it's fluctuating ratings, has never been cancelled. It came close in 1982 with the "Chevy Hit and Run" special and then again in 1984 after the "Hot Summer Motorcycle Accident" episode. Both were close calls but the writers didn't feel it was the right time to write me out of the script. Season after season the story lines keep coming and the plots keep getting thicker. Unfortunately, all great shows begin to slow down and lose their appeal. The cast gets old and the star fades from being as exciting as they were twenty years earlier. Time becomes the main factor of survival. I've been watching the re-runs of my own life, and accepting that this show has become slow and predictable. Sometimes it is just plain boring. No plot. No memorable scenes. Just a documentary about a fading man with exhausting pains, daily worries and anxieties about the day when his show is finally cancelled. Fade to black.
As I wake up from a long night of tossing and turning, I walk to the bathroom with blurred vision, take a long look in the mirror and I watch the age cover my face as I wipe across it with both hands. My eyes are dull and no longer filled with the sparkle of excitement. It's hard to keep my body straight without pain running through my legs. My chest hurts and my breathing is tight making my mind wander into worry. What has happened to me? Where has the time gone? Why is the energy draining from my soul and has my spirit left me for dead. I remember the song in my head made me smile the day I first heard it's heavy tone. That was so long ago. That was so many years ago. It only brings a dampness to my eyes and I wish I could erase the tape. Then the memories begin to do their job. They launch more and more thought linked to the song I wish would go away and my head quickly fills. I pull my face from the mirror and hope that this day will flush the emotions that only do me harm and remind me of the best of times. I'm sure it will.
I walk out into the morning air and try to begin a new show. I look at the camera with a tired glow and barely raise my finger. I paste on a smile a pretend that all the action is there, but I know it's gone. The BMW is gone. It never existed. I slowly grab the wheel of what I have and stare through the windshield blankly. The credits begin to role in my mind but they are barely legible. The California coast is not even a distant fantasy. Like every day, I wonder where I'm heading. When will the story end? Each day the story gets weaker and I get more weary of walking the line. I drift from not caring about the script, the plot or my lines, to praying for cancellation. Time heals all wounds but the pain lasts forever. I'm hoping that the writers of my life have another plan for my character. I hope that my show can go on for a few more seasons.
As I worry about the day when the final bell sounds, the lights go off one by one, and the screen finally fades to black, I realize that my color has faded.
It has faded to grey right before my eyes. - BT