Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Little Victories

Today was not a raging success, in fact, if I were forced to classify today, it would be placed firmly in the failure file, and I would quickly try to forget it as quickly  as this beer will allow me.  We are awful sometimes, and my job sometimes brings out the awful in a lot of people, usually that is not a problem as long as it isn't me that the awful is overflowing from. Today it was, and I am not exactly sure I am okay with that.

I have, when asked, likened my job to bailing the ocean out with a slotted spoon, and that is a very apt description. It quickly becomes incumbent upon me to get by on little victories.  I have to learn to get by on those little victories, because usually the defeats are quite heavy. Another problem is the world does not stop and let you enjoy those little victories. The world is, quite simply, out to destroy you, and it will. You have to know, understand, and eventually accept the fact that world is going to drive you to your knees, and eventually force you flat on you back. You are the Sonny Liston and the world is Muhammad Ali just like that photograph that made Ali famous. However, it is quite unlikely that the world is going to make you famous.

To the world you are just another person/thing that it will destroy. It will catch you when you are awful, weaken you to your knees, and destroy you. It is just that simple. The knowledge of this, and the eventual acceptance of this is something that we each have to do in our own way, and in our own time. Providing of course the world lets us.  There is no referee to stop the world from pounding you while it has you in the corner. There are no standing eight counts in the you vs the world title match. A match that you are ill prepared for, and in which the only question is in what round you will go down for the count.

The world has already dug your grave, and it is just a matter of time before it puts you in it like a newly minted mother placing their new born in their first cradle. The grave is, in many ways, the 'mother' world placing you in your last cradle. Confidence in yourself, and your pathetic, in comparison to the world, skill or talent is about the only weapon you have. You  can't really fear what the world is going to do to you, mainly because there is no point in being afraid. It's going to happen, it is going to be a surprise, and it is going to hurt, and there is the square root of fuck all you can do to stop it.  The world will catch up to you, and will exact a terrible revenge upon you when it does. It has done it to far greater people than you, Shakespeare, Gandhi, JFK, and all the heroes of our youth have been counted out by the world, there is no escape we pay for the violence of our ancestors.

That violence that some cave dweller who happens to share your genetic make up visited upon the world back when the world was young, is going to have to paid for, and you are going to be the one writing the check.  And write it you will, and you are the only who can write it for you. No one else, no matter how good of a friend, lover, or even enemy can write that final check for you. Make sure you have a good pen handy, because that check will be both the last thing, and the toughest thing you will ever have to author. It might be the only thing of any importance that you ever author, but it will be yours. Even though the world is dictating the terms, you are still, even in the smallest of ways, necessary to the cashing of that check. The world is playing a scene with you daily, and your last scene, though unimportant to the world, means everything to you. After all, it is your last scene there is no next act, next scene bit in the tragicomedy of your life. The last bill has come due, and you have to pay it.

The trick is to pay it with as much aplomb as you can muster, which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't going to be much. It never is, it wasn't for all those dead heroes, or all those dead villains, or all those dead nameless clowns that no one even bothers to grieve over anymore. It isn't much, but it is all that you have, and it has to be enough.  That last time you are awful, that last time the world drives you to your knees just before it knocks you flat on your back, and finished you off is, in many ways, the defining moment of your 'play', and while we all can't go out like Butch and Sundance in the movies, we can at least learn to get by on the little victories.

P.S. Sometimes inspiration, such as the inspiration for this post has multiple sources, and sometimes those sources can cause quite different reactions. This source had one meaning until I took the trouble to trace it back to its beginnings, and when I did I discovered a rather unhappy alternative source. It is that alternative source, and the heavy defeat that it inflicted upon me, that somehow, someway, in spite of my best efforts, continues to inflict upon me that this post, poor as it may be, is dedicated.

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