Somewhere In Those Fleshy Folds

What happens when you get to a certain age and donít have much to show for it?
Is it possible to go so far in one direction that itís no longer feasible to turn back and take another?
I have a body thatís built for manual labor. I have broad shoulders. I develop muscle easily. I have the blood of people who worked on farms and hauled boxes in canneries. I have the blood of boxers and policemen, the blood of baseball players and soldiers. But a long time ago I hopped on a train headed in a different direction.
If Train Manual Labor leaves the station at 14 years old, traveling East at the speed of life; and you board Train Mental Labor that leaves the station at 14 years old, traveling West at the speed of life, how many stops can you miss before youíve wasted yourself?
Almost half of my life ago I opted to focus all my attention on developing one muscle at the expense of all the others. I know that you can push certain muscles so hard that once they fail, they will continue to fail you for the rest of your life. Attempt to lift too much weight too many times and youíll tear your biceps. Tear them enough times and theyíll quit altogether. Youíll have effectively taught your arms that there are some things they will never be able to lift.
Can you do that with the creative muscle?
Is the brain subject to the same laws of life that govern its brethren? Can you fail creatively so many times that the muscle responsible for that lifting will learn there are certain things it canít lift? Will it eventually give up altogether? And will all this finally happen so far away from the other train that youíll find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, permanently worthless?
It certainly feels like it.
Originally Printed 3/7/05
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J.J. Oblivian
Los Angeles, CA
Age: 27

I'm in a gang
called California.








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