Today's Cary Tennis letter (Salon): Starts out like you'd hate her, but really, she's just numb..
"All this stability is driving me a little crazy. I need strong emotions. I need an occasional thrill. Seriously, the only overwhelming feeling I get these days is the occasional anger when someone cuts me off in traffic. My life right now is the equivalent of a healthy, balanced and tasty diet, which, well, feels a bit bland sometimes. And it’s already started to affect me: I’m almost constantly moody, unfocused, messier than usual, and my libido is suffering. I snap at people, something I always took pride in not doing. Sometimes I’m just plain sad.
A part of me reacts to this saying, “Well, big deal. This is called being an adult: You do what’s right, you don’t go around doing stuff just because you’re bored.” And I think this part is completely right. At the same time, I’m starting to fear that this may eventually get out of control if I don’t listen to it.
Because you see, I don’t consider this need to be in any way an excuse to just do something stupid and exciting. As I said, I really DO like my life, and I don’t want to destroy all the great things I have to scratch an itch."
Cary's advice is fun, here's a few samples: (Guess how many of these I've done in the last week?)
- "Buy an electric guitar and a loud amplifier. Rent time in a rehearsal studio in a run-down part of town. Turn it way up and make noise. Listen to the noise it makes and watch the goose pimples on your arm.
- Put some pots and pans into the back seat of an old car, preferably a Ford Falcon or Chevy Malibu, drive out into the desert, stop on a deserted road, get out, stand by the side of the road and beat on the pots and pans while screaming. Keep beating on the pots and pans and screaming until something changes.
- Walk down Rodeo Drive swinging a baseball bat.
- Have dinner in a fine restaurant and near the end of the dinner shout “Fuck!”
- Buy a saxophone from a pawn shop and start learning to play it during your breaks at work.
- Wear tight purple pants.
- You could jump out of an airplane but that might be boring. Steal a car instead.
- Go to the circus and sneak backstage and talk to the snake woman.
- Get your fortune told.
- Think up a kinky sex fantasy. Write to Dan Savage to ask if it’s OK. He’ll tell you it is and then you’ll feel you’ll have to do it just out of politeness."
But seriously now...
"The point is that the things in our minds must be treated as real, not as childish junk. It is not just junk that must be cleared away so we can get to work on something important. It is the language spoken by the soul. The soul is important.
It is important to find your own images, the ones that are living with you.
You may already have begun the deadening process of adulthood. But it is not too late to stop it. What parts of yourself have you been deadening? Let them come alive."