Comfortably Numb

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I can not put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
And I have become
Comfortable numb.
Roger Waters

We sat and bitched over lunch at Houlihans. Though we were each anxious for our own turn, we listened attentively to our friends. None of the grievances were particularly new.

She always complained about the house she purchased two years ago with her mother. Didn’t make sense then. Still doesn’t.

He talked again about the partnership that he’s been waiting five years for. One by one, in no particular order, we sipped our Mooseheads, or white zinfandels, or in my case a club soda with a twist of lime, and talked about the past week. Finally it was my turn and I didn’t know what to say. Business has been great. The kids are fine. Even my golf game has improved. Yet I felt that I belonged at this table.

How do you describe the dull ache of sleep-walking through life? I was numb. I couldn’t seem to enjoy the good around me. Nor could I seem to be affected by the bad. No highs. No lows. No depth to my feelings. How do you bitch about that? I tritely stated that I wasn’t happy.

Two hundred years ago the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that we each have the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. You have the right to try, but there are no guarantees.

I watch enough T.V. to know that happiness is defined as a house in the suburbs, a fast car, a well stocked refrigerator and lots of small electronic appliances. I’ve got all that. And more. But I wasn’t happy. And I couldn’t even explain why.

Since I had nothing worth sharing we went back to my friend’s blow by blow description of his weekly fight with his employer. I admit that my mind wandered to a familiar daydream about an idealized life. One I’ve never had. Nor never will. Sometimes our dreams prevent us from adjusting to our realities. Sometimes our dreams prevent our realities from conquering us.