October 15, 2016

Always Meant To Be

Note to 20 year old self:

I know you think that your life is always going to be filled with excitement and adventure. I see the way you swagger about drunk, hiding your insecurities with that messy bravado. You think that your future will always e filled with stories from On The Road and Fear and Loathing.

You might be a star, or at least greatly admired. You are not talented yet, you know this, but you might be able to carve together a working talent that might get you into women’s beds and stages and park benches and overnight trains in far off continents. But let me tell you, one day, when you are forty two, what you think the future will be like now and what it is really like will be very different.

You will wake up one morning at forty two and get ready to drive your daughter to her sewing class clear across town. The day will be hot and sticky and you will be convinced that the AC is not working, but it will be. After you drop off daughter number one, you will go to the mall to set up your second daughter’s birthday at Build A Bear. You will contemplate how much money is okay to spend on outfits for these stuffed creatures with your wife. It will all feel necessary and important. The party will be set.

You'll grab a coffee and walk around a mall again. So many damn malls everywhere. Then you are off to pick up your daughter and since you forgot to give blood at the clinic yesterdays, so you will pop in there and get quickly pricked. The lab staff knows your first name. That can’t be good.

Back home you will make a hummus and avocado sandwich with hot peppers and olives. It will be surprisingly good. You will take a nap on the couch as your kids watch a bit of TV. Your head on the older one’s lap. She will rub your beard and pet your head while you doze in and out. It will feel nice. For a second, you will think that this moment in time, on a couch, on a Saturday at forty two in the middle of a nothing day could be a million times better than shredding guitar in front of a stadium. You will fall asleep.

You will get up an hour later and get ready for the pool. Towels. Sun screen. Olives. Wine. A book. Dried cranberries. The whole family trots downstairs and you play with your kids a bit. Throwing them about like you did when they were small. You’ll read and watch them play. They are so loud and argue so much. Is this normal? You wonder.

The wine and the sun and the lethargy and the pointlessness of it all cling to you like a fine film of ……you will lose the metaphor because you ware lazy and gain the start of a mild headache. You will drink some water and tell the kids it’s time to go up for dinner.

You are not a star or famous or a writer or a musician, your talent will never develop and adventure will always feels more tame when you are in the midst of it. But you might crank out another batch of words and a few friends might read them. They may like them, some might love them, a few might private message you- thanking you for being so honest and vulnerable. As if these traits are not the most obvious thing anyone of can do.

Tomorrow will be another day. Who knows? You will tell yourself maybe it is not too late? Maybe the talent just needs a few more years. Maybe the adventure will never look like what you expected. Maybe you are right where you were always meant to be.

adjective: asinine

Extremely stupid or foolish. "Lydia ignored his asinine remark"

Stupid, foolish, pointless, brainless, mindless, senseless, doltish, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile, insane, lunatic, ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd, preposterous, nonsensical, fatuous, silly, childish, infantile, puerile, immature, juvenile, inane, witless, half-baked, empty-headed, unintelligent, half-witted, slow-witted, weak-minded;

“You wanna go see The Accountant tonight?”
“Sure why not?”

We love movies. Mairin loves them. I love them. We have forced our kids to love them. Good or bad, there is little that we all love more than sitting in a dark theatre, popcorn in hand, a coke, maybe some chocolate and relinquishing control to the narrative thread that is being cast.

I have always loved movies. I would love to spin a tale of magic and wow, ala Henry Miller and his description of early picture shows in Brooklyn as a child, but it is late and I just got back from a terrible movie, but that’s the point right- that even a bad movie is an amazing experience.

I’ll see anything. I’ll go with friends. Alone. Day or night. If you ever ask, “Do you want to see a movie?" My answer will always be yes. Even the bad ones make you think:

1. Is Ben Affleck really that bad of an actor or is he really good at choosing and playing terrible parts?
2. Did he just stay in character after he played an autistic Batman to play this role?
3.Was his last good movie Clerks? Was he in that?
4. Is it possible to make a film that perpetuates so many stereotypes and not call it a comedy or satire?
5. Were there really only four female roles and can they be that shallow and lame? And can you have said female characters never speak to other female characters for the length of feature film?
6. Can the thuggish, brown skinned, ultra-masculine bad asses with crazy facial hair and militarily mercenary garb really be that bad at firing their weapons? Did they not have target practice at some point?
7. Why don’t all guns have silencers? What is the advantage of a loud gun?
8. Is the heavy handed final song, really necessary? Even when it is so out of place with the rest of the film?

But we went and we laughed, when we weren’t supposed to, or were we? Was this so obviously asinine that we were meant to laugh at it? We looked at each other and rolled our eyes in the dark. If anything, our connected film radar is an attuned and accurate reflection of our bond, our love. We can watch and talk movies forever.

Afterward, we headed out for a quick bite and a wine and a beer. It was Saturday night and this is what married couples do- we go to terrible movies on a whim and we enjoy the mediocrity of the art form. Not every movie is a film and not every experience needs to be life changing.

We love stories and characters, no matter how poorly told or how shallow. We can fill in the blanks and ridicule and judge. The important thing is that we sign up for the ride. We sit in the darkness and we give every movie a chance, knowing that it is the film watching experience that can often outshine the actual film.

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