My Hideous Blind Spot: A Practical Introduction - Prologue
Somehow, we’d made it to the late-nineties. It seemed like years since we’d actively listened to U2’s The Joshua Tree but we’d been exposed to it enough - in line at the Dairy Queen or Canadian Tire, at house parties, and from the open windows of passing rusted Honda Civics - that it was now in our blood. Though our tastes had, admittedly, been refined and maybe we now found The Smashing Pumpkins, Stomping Tom and Radiohead in our coveted CD Walkman's and less portable boomboxes, it was The Joshua Tree that had infiltrated our DNA. Consequently, it had begun to animate the archetypes buried deep in our subconscious, at exactly at the wrong moment. It was there when we encountered those situations that recall the ‘big questions’ and was there pushing us towards resistance against looming societal expectations. It felt normal. Right.
Because we weren’t yet ready to grow up.
Despite our slacker posture, it’s true, we were still filled with hope. Naturally. We’d been loved unconditionally, even when we’d been rotten, and we’d been assured we could do absolutely anything. (We were brilliant, after all.) But, our adolescence was now lasting somehow into our twenties, and beyond. No. We weren’t just not ready to grow up. We were unwilling.
As members of Generation X, in retrospect, it seems we also took our cues from evolutionary biology. We were of the species born most vulnerable, possessing the longest period of development outside of the womb needed to function fully and completely as actual, independent adults. When our thirties approached and our friends “betrayed” us and “sold out” we continued to dream of Freedom and unlimited possibility, often in the shape of a vague greatness, as artists, poets, rock stars, comedians, or simply by back-packing, maybe forever. It could be almost anything really, but importantly, it had to be something truly “awesome”, and impractical.
As the world closed in and we found ourselves on that conveyor belt pushing us out once again into a world for which we were decidedly unready and with our limited options coming into sharp focus, without even knowing it we may have found our lips forming those words and feel our throats aching to reach those notes. The words, after all, had been there all the time, answering our prayers while nudging us towards oblivion. Still, we sang them in our own way, with our own voices or, let’s be honest, with our best in-the-shower Bono imitation (as the water rolled down the drain)...
I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
that hold me inside
I wanna reach out
and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name…
And we knew we were the viola player in that doomed quartet on a sinking Titanic. But we wouldn’t let go of that moment, even if it was already gone.
As if the morning lasted all day.
This is My Hideous Blind Spot: A Practical Introduction. That particular moment, plus time.
THIS EXCERPT IS FROM
My Hideous Blind Spot: A Practical Introduction
(The International Edition & The Middle Eastern Edition)