Monday, October 26, 2009

down the drain

A heavy-drinking man, middle-aged man, who has since lost his job, been divorced, jaded, subject to sudden flashes of anger, and known for erratic, aggressive remarks, advised me, as we sat in a bar back in 1980, to not piss my life down the drain. That image stuck with me. I got up to use the urinal and reflected on his words as golden fluid flowed down the white porcelain niche to the little hockey pucked shaped deodorant pad sitting above the metal drain. Those old arch-shaped porcelain pissers, it felt like being in church to stand there and empty the bladder, a venerable bodily function, a clear stream of beer piss providing a connection to the underworld as the mind sailed away in a wash of pleasant sensations.

It's now 2009, at what age does youth end and middle-age begin? I didn't play the game, missed a lot of opportunity, made disastrous decisions, experienced a fair amount of upheaval, but also got educated, gained some experience, went here and there, nothing to write home about, as a Celine character liked to say. But it's ok. It's enough, no big deal. Everybody does it. Everybody has their tale of ups and downs. Each person's story is a big deal to that person. Scream as loud as you like, for help, or in attempt to get someone's attention. Most people are too busy trying to find help and get attention to hear your cry for help or notice your attempt to be noticed.

The best thing to do, I conclude, is to learn how to be alone, confident, resourceful and imaginative. Don't expect anything from anyone. People are too busy expecting. Great expectations, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (read a recent email from a friend. I immediately jumped up and clapped hands). It's ok to be happy sometimes. People prefer it when you're not happy. If you're happy, someone is bound to be jealous or suspicious. It takes courage to manifest as a happy person. When you walk into a gathering of people and smile, subconsciously, people will band together to make sure that smile gets wiped off your face. However, if you're happy and confident, your smile will reduce such people to the level of worms. They'll slink back to their private misery, after doing all in their power to create obstacles in your life. But the obstacles they create could be turned into new opportunities. Aggressive, miserable colleagues mobbed me at work. I lost my job. I now have a year to relax and figure out what to do next. So in a way, I could thank them. Their jealous desire to wipe the smile off my face has caused me to smile even more.

Ok, I know this is a lot of nonsense. Life is not fun; however once born, there's no choice but to keep on living. Eventually death will turn this body into a corpse and provide relief from the agony of existence.

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