Today, I was accused of not being a free spirit. Guilty as charged. Not only am I not a free spirit, I might even experience a fair amount of animosity when in the presence of free spirits. The first time I knew that I wasn’t a free spirit was when I was about to graduate college. My roommate was pursuing his dream of being a modern dancer. The boy I had a crush on was moving to London to be a playwright. A woman I envied was going to Provincetown to write a screenplay. Me? I had accepted a job as the corporate file coordinator at a major investment bank because, well, the idea of trying to be a poet for real was not happening, not then, not now, not ever. And please don’t tell me about William Carlos Williams being a doctor and Wallace Stevens an insurance executive. And please don’t mistake promiscuity for being free ha ha ha ha. I am the emperor of my own damn wheelbarrow. I am a little old ugly man, cousin to Rumpelstilskin, friend to none. I am obsessive, compulsive, anal, retentive. Free spirits implode when they cross my path. Please don’t ask me to walk barefoot or wear flowers in my hair. Free spirit? I can barely manage spontaneity.
What is a free spirit and are you one?