I’ve been away, though I’m not sure what I’ve been away doing. Looking back on the summer, I see each week as though covered in a haze. Night and morning change with the ease of a light switch, and I find myself stuck trying to connect the blurs of the days into some coherent form. Sometimes, I see myself sitting here as I am: alone, in my boxers, and with a coffee for company. It is on these days that I am writing, though I can’t exactly be sure about what. As a matter of fact, I never know until I sit down, look at this page, and talk to my muse.
This summer I learned that rather than some illustrious name reserved for the divine, my muse’s name is Frank, and when he’s not hovering above me, he’s a plumber. His clothes are slobbered by sloppy work; yellow stains and brown splatters decorate him like an unclean cheetah. He’s lazy. And each time I’m here, and you’re there travelling whatever time and space is between us, he’s floating with his pot belly dropping and his stench enshrounding, and he’s making me write.
You see, Frank – the slob of fat sprinkled with fairy wings and a tiara to match his unshaven beard – is me if I don’t write. He keeps me writing because he is everything I don’t want to be.
He is the voice of all of my insecurities, the shaking indolence that seems to creep in my life daily. His whisper is the loudest boom, his movements are earth shattering. Whatever he does, it becomes my inspiration. Even now, he is telling me, “Fugget abouhd it.” He thinks these sentences are plain, lazy, a copy of his worst thoughts and ideas. I think they are the best I got. And that’s why he’s still here, nudging me and telling me what a waste of time my writing is – he is reminding me to be better, even though he thinks he’s doing the reverse.
He isn’t all bad, though. He knows that if you’re smiling then I’m smiling and if you’re sad then I am sad and if you are reading this then I am there with you like Frank is here with me. I am there, dear reader, wherever you are and however far apart we may be.
Frank is there too in a way, for he is writing this sentence. So am I. We both are.
Other days, Frank was not present. His smell did not fill this room, my Parthenon for a modern day Muse, and his belches were not accompanying my click-clacking compositions. These days, most of which seem to be the bulk of my summer, were spent studying for the MCAT.
Caught somewhere in between the humdrum of daily existence and the desire for a life entirely different, I wrote the test with every intention of doing well. I am unsure if I did that. Frank tells me that I’d waste my time if I didn’t. I believe him.
But part of me, despite the stress of the endeavor and the uncertainty in the result itself, enjoyed the experience. I spent hours trying to work out this formula or that one, sometimes forgetting that I was supposed to study to the test, rather than to necessarily gain knowledge. I played with biological concepts and attempted to apply them to my life as a whole. I tried to see beyond the test itself because ultimately, that’s the point of the MCAT – to see that which cannot be seen but yet seems to be there.
It is a fickle dream, a haunting whisper carried along the test-takers fingers and minds. It is a hope, a moment before the forever after, a once upon a time. In the end, it’s a score – that’s undeniable, but most of us think, we hope, that it’s so much more than the numbers that compose us.
Everyone has different reasons for doing the MCAT, and mine were quite simple. When I drew out the scribbled line of my life, I came to this point in my room, on this keyboard, and I decided that I was terrified of death, and so were others, and maybe, just maybe, I could help them to be a little less afraid. Maybe I can make their world better, if only for a little while.
In anything we do, that social betterment is what we all try to do in the end, I think. That’s also why I write and ultimately told you, dear reader, about Frank. Whatever action we take, however insignificant or however grand, we work with and for others. We are connected by the tiniest interaction, the most random accidents of circumstance, and by writing or being a doctor or just opening doors for someone else, we are tightening that connection by ensuring others can connect or reconnect in ways they didn’t think possible.
We allow people to live the lives they want to by living our own.
All that being said, I may have done bad on the MCAT, and that’s all right – or at least I’m told it is by everyone except Frank. Though he wasn’t there, he thinks that being a doctor may be a waste of my time. Instead, he looks at my writing and tells me that there’s so much work to do that it would be a crime to leave it alone. I laugh and write this nonsense of a blogpost.
What I’m getting at is that this summer has been a way for me to realize that all swords are double edged for even the bluntest end can be a weapon if you know how to use it. It’s a baseless metaphor, maybe, but to me it means that I will keep writing here even if the posts are not worth a damn. Here’s the plan: I will write 1000 words daily to catch-up on essay a week, I will dream on an electronic forum of another life reserved saving other lives, and I will get Frank off my back because he weighs a ton.
He’s fat, unworked, and a blackhole of laziness. Together, let’s give him an exercise.