Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Betrothal of A Bastard

Well, I've had a busy few weeks, as is always evidenced by my complete lack of posting. This time, though, it wasn't just abject sloth that prevented me from blogging, but rather a series of events set into motion that moved forth with juggernaut-like speed.

I am officially engaged to be married. To a person. A human person. For reals.

To a girl who, I can only imagine, has always harbored thoughts of romance for bitter, venom-tongued, stone-hearted cyborgs. Otherwise, this whole process seems awfully odd and off-putting, and in fact calls into question her judgment in a variety of ways.

That being said, however, I am actually quite excited at the prospect of spending my life with another person who accepts me for being the staggeringly brilliant, if not somewhat emotionally stunted, and *occasionally* criminally flatulent genius I am.

I've tried to be a better person around her, than I would ordinarily allow myself to be, and in making this effort, it's actually happened. I find myself saying and doing things that leave my family slack-jawed, in a good way. And you know what? Personal growth is underrated. Well, not if you're Oprah, or that fat, bald, lying sack of monkey shit "Dr." Phil, but for everyday people with drinking problems and emotional baggage? It feels pretty good to make headway in your life and see actual progress as you, dare I say, mature?

Yes, I dare. I said to someone the other day, after being congratulated, "Yeah, you know, I guess I'm a real, live grown-up now, doing grown-up things." And I thought about that. I realized that almost overnight, I went from being a singular, floating entity with various ties to people and things, to a integral part of something else, and inextricably linked to someone. Sure, I paid bills and showed up to work on time (mostly) and did other grown-up things, but this felt different. I was responsible for something bigger than me now. And as much as I thought it might feel awkward and weird, it made me feel really good to know I was ok with it, and that I'd come that far.

I used to picture a world for myself that was like Blade Runner. I mean, sure, we all do, what with the future-y goodness of flying cars and androids working for us, but I mean specifically Deckard's life, lived alone, interacting with others, but fundamentally isolated, soaked with scotch, and unable to discern actual memory from hallucination on occasion. And I was ok with that. I had come to terms with that, and my peace with that thought allowed me to go onward. But that's not how it worked out, and I can't say I'm disappointed. While I was prepared to live out my days this way, I'm glad I don't have to.

Which leads me to my point. On some core level, I feel I don't deserve to be happy. It's a sentiment we all feel at some point or another, but it's been a defining characteristic of my personality, and both explained and buffered my college years and later adolescence. Thing is, somewhere I turned a corner and realized I deserved to be happy. And coming to the conclusion that things weren't written for me the way I thought them to be made me feel an odd sense of hope that I never expected to feel. Ever.

Perhaps I'll one day lament the fact that I didn't end up with that dystopian, self-destructive future, all Hemingway'd and Bukowski'd. But for the time being, I'm content just being a grown up. And planning the most kick-ass, excellent wedding a human could ever have. Involving, of course, furious gun battles, brain-computer interfaces, homemade liquor, pants-wetting martial arts displays, and the fate of the human race. And even if I can't have the Matrix as our wedding theme, I'll be satisfied with the liquor. Which is probably where I'd split the difference anyway.