It’s 1:36 on a Friday morning in July in Century City. I’m staying with a friend because I’m currently in limbo between a former life and an unknown future one. And, as per usual, I can’t sleep. I am writing, it seems, just to keep myself busy without the usual time wasting activities like Netflix or late night self-seduction. Maybe that will come later. But, I contradict myself. Because I just finished watching a documentary about Roger Ebert and that’s really why I’m writing this. I found myself moved. Moved by his voice. His bravery. His stubbornness. Really, I’m moved by how he channeled the human condition into a specific craft that touched so many people. Since I was a kid, I loved the movies. Ebert was always the ultimate taste tester. Not only did he qualify a film; he looked a bit deeper to assess its inherent humanity, its universally binding qualities that leave you in tears as the credits roll. And, more often than not, he could tell a movie off when it was deserved.
Ebert is dead. His words live on. That’s a beautiful thing in and of itself. He said he could always write. I suppose I could always write as well. I could always create. I never had any mental obstructions when it came time to make something up. I’m thirty-two, in Los Angeles, and I find myself frustrated even when I should be seeing the glass half full. My nature is complex. That in itself does not make me interesting. The only way to be interesting is if you take your complexity and share it with the world. But how can you do that in a way that isn’t ego-centric? I suppose the answer is in making art. It’s in providing something for others that illuminates your own soul. At some point, however, you need a business mind to make this feasible. Nobody wants to be a dead, broke, unknown genius. Tesla was the man. But it took Musk to make Tesla Motors the revolutionary success that it is. I guess every Tesla needs a little Edison.
As I’m writing this, I’m trying to recall what my purpose is. Not only in my life but in this ramble. I suppose the simple act of putting thoughts to paper—or to the screen of my MacBook Pro, to be more accurate—is a good enough start. The pursuit of perfection can leave you forever wanting if you don’t just go out and do it.
I’d like to save the world. I’d love to enlighten humanity. I’d kill to create something everlasting. But I’m just a man with a limited lifespan, a credit score and enough contradictions to keep a therapist fully employed. Sometimes the thought of ending it all and returning to the eternal ether is comforting. But life is a wild, frustrating, orgasmic, terrifying, terrific and necessary adventure that we’re all responsible for experiencing to the maximum. Human beings are amazing and horrible and everything in between. And I’m a human being; a human being witnessing everything we create and destroy. If I’m going to be like Ebert, then I won’t fear death. I will speak from the heart, destroy what needs to die, create what needs to live and share the wonder of life itself.