JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Ugh

I often wake up in the morning, brush my teeth and think, “Ugh.”

I know exactly what’s coming: I’ll wake up my two kids, walk the dog, make breakfast, pack two lunchboxes, get in the car, drive the tykes to school, return home, shower, procrastinate, pack up my stuff, go to Starbucks, write/research, pick up the kids, take the daughter to piano, etc … etc.

It’s a good life. No, a great life. I am blessed beyond blessed beyond blessed, and were I to die tomorrow I couldn’t complain about how things have gone.

And yet …

Sometimes I can’t help but think, “Is this as good as it gets?” By this, I mean—literally—life. It can all seem so … inane. And trite. And repetitive. And meaningless. Here in suburbia, all the parents are overly intense about making certain their kids get into the “special” program for “advanced” students. Then they’ll get into the program. Then, instead of going to Hartford, they’ll go to Harvard. They’ll study, drink, get laid, graduate—and enter the world. And, inevitably, at age 39, stare into the mirror, thinking, “Ugh.”

Why? Because we’re damned by limitations. Life can only be so great. I think that’s why people turn to drugs and affairs and insane, inane material possessions. Truth be told, I also think that’s why we turn to sports. They’re escapes from the boring-as-dirt realities many of us face. The bright uniforms. The muscles. The speed. The power. The cheerleaders. Like pornography, they’re vacations from the norm. But they end with a Click!, and then we’re back.

Here.