I woke up no less sore than I had been when I went to sleep the previous night. Just getting into the car was a struggle, and settling into that same seated position just reinforced the discomfort. This was going to be a bad day.
Even Jess was subdued. She made no effort to gather additional footage for her movie, which was a relief. She put her seat all the way back and snoozed for the first hour of the trip.
With Jess asleep, I couldn't run the stereo, so I spent that hour staring at the road and reviewing my life in my head.
I should be happy. Ecstatic. I'm marrying a woman I adore; I have a cute, young girlfriend to complement that relationship; Danielle and I are having a baby, and we're going to raise it on the commune... why isn't that enough?
I ruminated on this. I'd spent a lot of my life depressed, but mostly over my love life. At the moment, I was the luckiest sonofabitch I knew in that regard. What was missing?
I wished for music to distract me from this train of thought, but Jess was sleeping peacefully...
I hadn't done anything musical in months, other than noodle on the keyboard to no particular effect. I hadn't performed in over a year.
I have a masters degree in music performance. Why am I marking time at Guitar Depot when I could be touring with a band, doing theater, sending my songs to record companies?
I'd become complacent. My mother was right. Maya had been right: life on the commune was too easy, too comfortable. I was shielded from the stresses of the real world. Even my job, working in a music store, had that effect. And though I brought in enough to pay half of the rent, Danielle's six-figure income was always there to support me. And once the kid was born, I was going to stay at home to take care of her.
It was all a cop out.
We should move out of the commune, get a place in town. And I should get a job appropriate to my skills.
But I have to raise the kid on the commune, where she'll be raised hippie-style by doting relatives and friends, in the beautiful countryside. Think of how great my childhood was. I want that for her.
But I had a life to lead for myself. Things to do, places to go. Potential to realize. And I was about to chuck it all and become a stay-at-home dad.
What the hell had I gotten myself into?