Monday, March 07, 2011


You see us, a group of anywhere from 3-8 people with a fair mixture of males and females, out at a bar, and you see a group of 'friends.' I mean, after all, we seem to be having a fairly jovial time of it, and who goes out to have those type of times if not with friends? Look closely at the group, and ponder really hard on each individual. Because a group is made up of individuals, and is very rarely larger than the sum of its parts. Which one in the group is 'the leader?' Is there a leader? There might not be a clear leader, but there will surely be the ones recognized as followers. The alpha dog may just be the subtle leader type that doesn't like to show off their leadership ability, and therefore it might be hard to spot them.

But, take a step back and listen to (without being too nosy) what the members of this group are saying, and if you're a clever fellow you might even want to listen to what they are NOT saying. A much harder task, but if you're good at it you can learn a lot.  You might even learn a few things that the majority of the people don't even know.  That is of course, if you are good, and you give a shit enough to pay attention. Which are two big hurdles to clear, but you are good right? And, you don't have anywhere else to be or you wouldn't be getting piss drunk on a Monday night in a bar right?

You might even learn a life's lesson, because life lessons are tricky like that.  They show up when you least expect them, and sometime smash you over the head when you are least expecting it. As you focus on this band of brothers what do you see? The one that talks to loud? The one that laughs too much? The tall one, the short one, the fat one, or the skinny one?  Maybe there isn't a each one of those types, or maybe one of them is more than one type. You don't know, and you don't really care because you are a stranger to them. Other that the tall one that bumps into things they aren't really a remarkable group, but you are stranded in this joint with them, so you might as well try out some of your powers of observation. 

And you have those types of powers, powers of observation that would make Sherlock Holmes proud, and you quickly focus on the one just to the left of the centre. The one who seems to be doing their fair share of talking, but one that (despite his jolly appearance) makes you just a bit nervous. This person seems to be 'one of the group,' but you know better. You've seen this type before, in fact he reminds you of someone you used to know. You've seen this before, this person is the friendless one, the one that is, ever so slightly, out of focus.  Sure they are here surrounded by people in a bar, and these other people seem to know this person, and they are talking to this person like friends talk to each other. They even seem to be sharing the occasional joke, and have even had a couple of shots together like friends.

But, and there is always a but, you know better. You've spotted the friendless one, the one you know is going to one day be in a bar, like this one, alone and bitter. The one who is going to be the person at the bar, talking to know one while getting blotto, and making other people wonder why they are there alone all the time. The one who, with any doubt in your mind, has only a small clue as to the bleakness of their future. The one, that even though you know is a total asshole, makes you want to go up to them and say some words of consolation or warning, in the vain hope that you can provide them a life line. It won't work, you know this from experience, and you know you won't try, because it really isn't any of your business.  This poor fool has to learn, like most fools, the hard way. Even if you told them, they would probably just tell you to 'fuck off and die.' Which would be fair enough, after all, you don't know this person, and this person doesn't know you. Why should they listen to some total stranger attempt to give them some 'insight' into their future?

And, besides you aren't a charity. Why would you give some total asshole advice on how they are going to end up alone, and bitter one day if they don't change their ways. Let them sort that out if they have the brains, and if they don't well then too bad for them. They will get what they deserve (as most people usually do), and will have to deal with the consequences of their actions. In the zero sum game that is life, it is just exactly what should happen to them, and you are not going to 'save the world' one asshole at a time. Mainly though the reason you don't attempt to rescue this person is because five, ten, or fifteen years ago, no one bothered to try to save you, which is why you are drinking alone in the first place, and misery loves company. 

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Your recent posts are depressing me.