Flavor of the Weak
It occurs to me, as I prepare to write a final paper on my ancestry project, that the very research I have been longing to do for years has not only served to offer me fulfillment, but has also served as kindling for the burning frustration you’ve all seen exhibited here on a daily basis. In the long history of my family there are mariners, carpenters, ship builders, and most recently, a builder of computers. The Clark men have always built something, have always worked to produce something real and tangible. Stuck in a job where I produce writing to sell a service, not even a product but a service, I feel hopelessly inadequate.
Even my Dad, who would never have seen his tenure at DEC in the way that I’m seeing it, did, in fact, work to create something. He fixed computer boards at a time when computer use was expanding. What he did, even in a small way, mattered. And if you want to deny that, you can’t deny that he was building a family at the same time.
I’m childless at twenty-six, nearing twenty-seven, and I write ad copy that isn’t worth shit, that will be forgotten three minutes after it’s read, if it’s ever actually read at all.
My ancestors helped pilot the Mayflower. They helped build homes throughout Harwich. My Grandpa Clark helped fix ships in port during World War II. What do I do? I write ad copy.
Now, writing ad copy might be an acceptable position for others. But I’m concerned with my place in the world, in history. I want to produce something worthwhile, a book, a child. Something that will last.
That’s what it is. I want to leave a mark. So far, I have not.
Which is funny, because, for some reason, I received an invitation to submit myself to a Who’s Who in America book a few months ago, one of the more well-known ones. I had no idea why they would find me interesting enough for inclusion, but they did. I’m sure they laughed over my application when they got it and realized it had been sent in error. I mean, what have I done that makes me worth mentioning in a book?