Fine lines are never something you wish for—unless, I suppose, your fashion designs are being judged on Project Runway. Any other time a fine line is mentioned, it’s going to involve a pricey skincare regimen, or a flimsy spider web of a line that somehow separates normal behavior and the kind that’s used in case studies at psychiatric conventions.
Though you’d never know it by looking at my begging-for-Botox face, it’s these latter lines that concern me most. So much so that I wish we could borrow the technology from the makers of Invisible Fence ® so that those of us who tend to make like Johnny Cash and “Walk the Line” could shock ourselves back to clear thinking whenever we’ve strayed to the dark side.
One such fine line I’ve recently pondered is that which separates a dreamer from someone who is downright delusional. How narrow is the distance between someone who is tenacious and determined when faced with adversity, and the dude who winds up as a blooper audition on American Idol, yet still can’t process the possibility that he sucks like ten hungry puppies on their momma’s mammaries? I’m thinking it’s a line so thin that only a Cirque d’ Soleil performer or a millipede could walk it.
The question leaves me praying to God that my own lofty aspirations place me on the sunny side of that fine line—that I’m not the writer’s equivalent of William Hung. After all, are you even allowed to have dreams once you’ve turned 40? Or are you expected to divide your wildest desires by 10 and then subdivide them into manageable goals that will be achievable only if you manage to live to the age of 112?
This would mean, of course, that if you spent your 30’s wanting to become the next Bill Gates, you would now be better served trying to retain your cubicle during the next recession.
Or is that you still have fantasies of becoming the next Michael Jordon? Well, news flash: even he has retired. Let’s focus on scheduling two pick-up games at the local elementary school each week—dunking being optional.
Perhaps you think you could be the next American Idol if it weren’t for that annoying age cap of 28. Hmmm, how about commandeering the Nintendo Wii for some karaoke once those kids are in bed?
Do you see yourself as the next famous writer who could fill concert halls for your interviews and readings? Uh, yeah, that one hits a little too close to home to be mocked.
Those of us who still hold on to our “drelusions” in the face of impossible odds could probably keep from becoming Case Study 1395 if we could stay away from award ceremonies and all things marketed to preteens.
I say this as someone who recently wept through Alicia Keys’ acceptance speech at the Grammy’s and through much of the Hannah Montana in 3D movie. Yep, I said wept. I’d love to say that mine were bitter tears of mourning that these gals realized their dreams while I’ve been forced to install a gastric band on mine to reduce their appetite. But no; it’s worse than that—I think these performers are talking to me. So when they say they accept their awards on behalf of anyone who’s had a dream, or they sing “life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock!” this ol’ gal becomes the only person in the audience who is wiping away tears from beneath her 3D glasses.
As the stars leave the stage, and while the lights are still dim, I swear I even hear the words: “Live from Carnegie Hall with the debut of our series on 21st Century philosophers turned humorists, we have the great honor to present Shana…”
Zzzzt. Oh man, I’ve crossed the line again— please pardon the smell of burning flesh.
Shana McLean Moore, Case Study 1395, is a resident of Almaden Valley in San Jose, California. To read more of her essays and listen to her podcast, visit: www.caffeinatedponderings.com
Causes Shana Moore Supports