Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be your own Frog Prince

Take yourself down to your local, do not forget to invite the people you are presently calling friends. I say presently because that is what this post is about. Present friends, old friends, new friends, dead friends, and undiscovered friends. When you and that group of people you called get to your local, and have that nice cold pint in front of yourselves take a look around. Are these people (your friends) the people you knew when you were 20? 25? 30? 35?. Will they be the people you still call to meet you for a drink when you are 40 or 45? Will any of them attend your funeral? Will you attend theirs? Have you wandered so far from the person you were 10 years ago that you have replaced your entire "set" of friends? Is there one old familiar face? Like a well broken in baseball mitt that you keep around as a friend in order to hold onto the past. Who among this group is the longest serving friend, and is that the friend you like or trust the most? Or is it that this is the group that you prefer to drink a pint with? If that call you placed earlier was to go to the movies, or to a concert, would that call be placed to different people? Take out your cell phone scroll the numbers how many of them would have been there when you were 5 years younger. How many times have you moved in the last five years? Do you have a place you call home or is home just where you happen to be living right now? (sadly for me the latter is true). Take a good look around would any of these people be "friends" if you were taken out of the group. Did you create this group of friends or did you just join it, and your presence would be missed but would be dealt with. How long would it take the memory of you to fade? How long would it be before they started mentioning your name less often till at last you are erased like a drawing in the sand at high tide? Is there one amongst this group that you feel a stronger bond with? One that you would tell things that you could tell your family pictures? One that knows that you are full of addictions, contradictions, and fucking fictions? Do you serve that purpose for any of them or are you like a passenger on a train, only here for the ride, and waiting to get off at your appointed stop? "Sorry lad, it has been a real pleasure being your friend but here we are at Paddington Street, and I must be off." "Keep in touch, call me we will have drinks or something."
Knowing full well that you are muttering the things you are supposed to mutter, and it will be sublime centuries before you see this person again, or want to for that matter. Are these "friends" of yours good people? Do you deserve them? More importantly do they deserve you? Are you a good friend? Certainly most of us think we are good friends, who would want to be a bad friend? Have the friends that we thought were so very together now off in search of fair weather? Is this search for fairer weather a mass exodus, or do they just drift off one by one till you glance around and think you are reliving the water fountain scene from Ocean's 11?

Friday, January 04, 2008


One day everyone you and I know will crumble to dust. You, me, the person you love the most, the person you hate the most, everyone blasted one of us. There is no escape we will pay for the violence of our ancestors. This inescapable fate is the thing that makes us all equal. Kings, queens, street sweepers, doctors, lawyers and bums all end up as dust. Returning to the elements that at the most basic level are our building blocks. For those of us with a mean streak this realization does make us feel at least as important as the King of Spain. Granted his coffin will be nicer, his funeral more impressive, and someone besides the people he owes money will mourn at his funeral, but all that notwithstanding, he turns a similar pile of dust as the rest of us. Of course depressing thoughts like this certainly do not help one's moral fiber, so in the spirit of a new year let us ponder something else. Clearly, a lot of people who have too much time to think fall in love with the idea that the universe is so vast, deep, and wide, that our actions can seem rather small and pointless. After all, we all wind up as dust so in the end, what difference do one individuals actions make? This is cosmic pessimism at it finest. A negative view of the world, and of our place in it. Sort of a free pass to act however you want because in the end nothing matters. However, it occurred to me as I passed the time with my thumb up my ass what if the reverse were true. What if everything matters? What if (those dangerous words) everything little thing you did rather than being magic, mattered in some meaningful way? Some way that you might not even be able to explain or comprehend. Talk about chaos. Every little decision or action that you made mattered. That particular choice of attire, the decision to turn left or right, the idea that you left the lights on so you turn back to check just one more time just to make sure, can these trivial, everyday petty little things matter? Maybe they put you behind schedule enough to miss getting hit by that bus at the intersection down the street. Perhaps you did leave the iron on, and turning around prevent a lovely little house fire. Maybe some trivial thing you did loses your mother's love try that dress on for size how does it fit? What decision would be easy to make if everything thing mattered. Suddenly even "fries with that" makes a huge difference. I would suppose a paralysis of the will would be the ultimate result.