Friday, November 17, 2017

Precious Things

I wrote this in about half an hour while sitting in the back of the room at the Storytelling as Bungee Jumping event presented by the Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. Then I read it to the assembled crowd. I have no idea where it came from, but here it is...

I sat down in the coffee shop to write something. For no reason. I thought I'd start writing and see what came out. Usually, I have a purpose. This was just... random.

I go through these periods of self-reflection, wondering... what is the fucking point? I'm in one of those now.

Why is it that mankind has to try to find some meaning in life? I'm pretty sure cockroaches don't do this. Although, maybe I'm underestimating them.

Anyway, I sat down to write. I put on headphones. And, somehow, the first song I played was an obscure song by the The Who called "Cry If You Want." These are the first lines of the second verse...
Don't you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said
Many, many years ago when life appeared rosy red
It's getting to the point where it's hard to remember my old self, my high school self. I didn't keep a journal. I still don't. I write a lot of my thoughts down now, of course, but I'm kind of glad I didn't then. I can't imagine how silly it would seem to me now.
Don't you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said
Many, many years ago when life appeared rosy red
What was it like when your biggest concern was the giant zit that erupted on your forehead overnight? And why did it always happen on a Monday or Tuesday? So you had to walk the school hallways for the rest of the week with a festering Krakatoa erupting on your face?

What was it like when the most important side effect of badly breaking your right arm was having to learn how to masturbate left-handed?

I had questions then. Lots of questions. But I thought they'd be answered, one by one, as I grew up.

But... no.  Every time I answered one, another one came along. Sometimes they came in bunches. Lots of questions.

What is the fucking point?

What happens when you become convinced that  the only way people can be happy is if they're complete morons who are oblivious to what's going on around them?

What happens when you think to yourself, that, when you die, there might be some small group of people who are mildly upset, but at least you've made the owners of the funeral home happy?

What happens when you meet some wonderful woman, and you just walk away, thinking... no, she'd just break my heart anyway, if it wasn't already broken?

I have questions. Lots of questions.

There's not a decision I would take back. Not one. This is it. My magnum opus. This thing I created. This existence. In all its glory. In all its misery.

What if there is no fucking point?

I got up to pee, and get a fresh cup of coffee. I spoke to a couple of coffee shop regulars I see often. I lost my train of thought.

Then I looked through the lines I had just written. Jeezus. Where did that come from?

I leaned back. Closed my eyes. Took a deep breath. Put my headphones back on. And there was that song. "Cry If you Want."

Don't you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said?