Saturday, January 28, 2023

Nod and Grin

My dead ex-friend Brando once told me when I was moping about that girl, "Your problem is that you think she should be thinking about you all the time.  Hell, man, you're lucky if she's thinking of you when you're standing right in front of her!"  

I always enjoyed using that one on other mopey fellows.  But as of today, I have an addendum to add to that.  

"If she is thinking of you, there is no better than a 50/50 chance that it is in the way you want her to."  

And so it is written.  

Maybe I'm just dyspeptic this morning because the milk curdled in my coffee.  It was dark and I wasn't sure, so I drank it anyway.  When I went to get more coffee, though, the sun was up and I could see the gunk in my cup.  Pouring my second cup, I looked for the instant creamer I bought many years ago when I went to Cuba.  After a long search through the cupboards, I found it, but it wouldn't pour.  It had become a solid block.  I worked at scraping it for a few minutes until I got enough powder to cream my coffee.  I'm not certain which will be worse for me, though, the curdled milk or the years old creamer.  Since I have drunk each, I'll not be certain which one was the culprit if I get sick--or if it was some synergistic combination of the two.  

I'm off to a fine start on a cold funereal Saturday.  Literally.  I must go to a dead colleagues funeral this afternoon.  And it is a weird one.  They are having the service at a baseball stadium because he was a huge baseball fan.  Attire is Baseball Formal, the announcement said.  We should wear baseball garments.  I am not certain what this means, but I know I don't have a baseball uniform.  I don't even have a baseball cap.  I'm not sure how to dress at this point.  Perhaps I should run to a sporting goods store this morning.  

But I can't.  The window repair guy who took out the window in the apartment before the hurricanes is going to put back the repaired window today at ten.  That's a lot of months.  And I will owe him a lot of money when he shows up.  I just paid out money to the HVAC repair people this week but the tenant says the a.c. isn't working now, so I have to have them back.  The tenant likes to call me when she needs something.  She is paying half of what I could be getting for the apartment.  At this point, the rent isn't covering the cost of maintaining the place.  We are going to have to have a talk.  

But I've decided talking does me little or no good.  I was a professional talker.  I was trained to be a critic, and I was a good one.  I have a knack for noticing the sublte cracks and gaps in logic.  For this, I was rewarded.  Not handsomely, of course, but professionally.  

But that talent doesn't make me friends in the "outside" world.  It is considered a rude and nasty thing.  People tend to like you when your opinions align with theirs.  I understand.  It is only natural.  As I've written here not long ago, people just want to have fun.  Make them laugh.  Don't contradict them.  Presenting a winning argument is not the formula for popularity.  

"I love that guy.  Have you ever argued with him?  Man, he is really something." 

Nope.  And holding opposite opinions is even a worse idea.  And yet, that is what I do.  It doesn't matter what the opinion is, I will take the contradictory one.  For me, it is fun.  I don't really care if I win or lose, if I am right or wrong.  I truly don't believe in absolute rights and wrongs.  The only thing is the argument.  

"Argue with yourself, asshole." 

The thing is, though, I don't like emotional arguments, and I won't engage in them.  That is the point where I say, "You are right.  You win."  Purely intellectual arguments, sure. . . but for people who aren't of that ilk, they engage their emotions immediately.  

I don't get paid to be critical any longer.  There is absolutely no reward in it for me now.  I am going have to remember to simply nod and grin and say things like, "That's an interesting idea." 

Making Friends and Being Popular 101. 

I never took the course.  

The craziness of it is, I like people of all stripes.  I never think I am "right."  I just think I am insightful.  And I like to show off.


I watched the Memphis beatings tapes last night.  My recommendation is don't watch them.  Just believe it when people say it is awful.  It is, and seeing them will do nothing good for you.  Watching the tapes really jacked me up.  I grew up with that.  I've witnessed gang beatings that were similar in woods, in trailer parks, in parking lots. . . .  People never believe me when I say this, but it is true.  I know what it is like to hit a person high on PCP and coke and many other drugs.  You know what happens?  Not much.  One night in a trailer park party, a big guy just back from Viet Nam got fucked up and started punching people, so the crowd turned on him.  They hit him and kicked him and beat him, but it didn't seem to register.  He just kept fighting until he could fight no more.  It looked much like the video I watched last night.  That was not the only time I saw brutal beatings.  I grew up with gang members and thugs.  I've spent my life trying to get away from all of that.  I live in a bubble now, but that shit never goes away.  As a teen, I had a gun put to my head by a fellow tripping on acid.  That wasn't the only time I had a gun pulled on me, but it was definitely the scariest.  The fellow took the gun from my head and shot a roadside sign next to me just to let me know.  My life was like that until I went away to college.  I never went back.  

Watching those videos and listening to the audio of the officers jacked on anger and adrenaline and feeding off the energy of the moment took me back.  Listening to the immediate retelling replaying of the event by the police officers took me back as well, the sudden energy dump and the first bit of realization of what just happened and the verbal and mental attempt to justify it all, to recreate and reshape it in narrative.  The majority of people I know have never lived in that, have never witnessed that, and don't really know that it happens every day and all the time somewhere where they aren't.  They are shocked and sickened by the brutality.  I am horribly reminded and taken back.  Those policemen were angry and they were jacked.  Maybe Erin Burnett can't understand why none of the other officers intervened.  I know why.  You may think you would have, but I know you wouldn't.  You may not have participated, but you would not have gotten in the way no matter how righteous and brave you think you are.  You may have been sickened by it and turned away, but that is all.  Later, in court, you might even testify, but in that moment you would have smelled the outrage and the danger and you would know you were not big enough to stop it.  Unless you have been in it, don't fool yourself.  Just don't.  

My stomach is rumbling and sounds like a chainsaw.  I'm sure I won't get sick, but I didn't finish my second cup.  It didn't taste right.  It makes me sad because I spent a lot of money to get that Kenya coffee, the delicate, high altitude coffee that Issac Dinesen first grew on her farm in Africa.  It is very difficult to get now for reasons I don't understand.  But this pot has been wasted.  I will probably put on some clothes and go to a breakfast place where I can eat and drink some less that desirable coffee but coffee nonetheless.  And I must hurry as the window guy will be here soon.  

Have I mentioned the robins?  I don't think so, . They have been here all week, about a hundred of them, roosting and rooting about in the two big camphor trees.  They are peripatetic little monsters and make a tremendous ruckus.  It is like a blessing, though.  I think of them as harbingers of good luck.  I need some.  

You needn't worry about my nodding instead of talking, at least not in writing here in on my blog in my own home.  Not to talk here would be silly.  It would be a crime.  But if you see a silly fellow in the streets with a bobble head and an indiscriminate grin. . . you'll have found me.  I'll be the popular one.  

No comments:

Post a Comment