Your misery makes me happy

Listen to the tales of others’ misery. It is highly therapeutic.
I spent part of Wednesday night listening to a couple people talk about how fucked up their lives were. One woman, not so much. She admitted that she was anxious a lot of the time, had been an anxious person since high school, and was now just trying to get a handle on it.
The other, a kid of 20, was all but defiant about the trouble he caused. I doubt he makes it to his 25th birthday.
They just wanted someone to listen, and on a Wednesday night that just happened to be me. Fine. They didn’t want their problems solved; it was as if they just wanted them acknowledged, listed, so they could start doing something about them (or simply ignore them).
“I’m fucked up and I don’t give a shit,” the kid said. “At least I’m not boring.”

Their misery really didn’t make me happy.
I was happy to listen.
And I was glad to know the arc or my life wasn’t so bad. Bumps and bruises and a few obstacles that I still have to figure out, but all-in-all, I have a life of richness and energy. Good friends, an interesting job, possibilities. The future looks bright, since I’m older, wiser – and willing once again to jump into the abyss with reckless abandon, just to see what happens.
I listen to others, and I no longer fear my own future.
(If that makes me some sort of vampire, so be it.)

I spent the rest of the night not pondering my life and future, but writing (while listening to Christmas carols).
The craft of writing. The want, the need, the desire to open the laptop (or, in this case, a borrowed PC), launch Word and see that white openness expand across the screen. The possibility of what would jump from my brain, to my fingers to the page.
Truth be told, I never used to think about Writing, the uppercase kind. I mean, I’ve always written. But I want to Write.

And in a few people’s tale of misery, I found inspiration. Not to write like a journalist and chronicle the terror and anxiety these people shared, but to listen to the human condition. And to try to make sense of it all.
Or, at the very least, farm its fertileness for stories of my own.
I turned off the lights, adjusted the pillows and let my mind wander.
(Two ideas were written down in the slatted-blind-light of the street lamp; two ideas that had nothing to do with the misery I had heard earlier; two ideas to flesh out, hang a framework of words to further my own destiny.)

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