I’ve skipped the birthday blogging for the past few years. No reason. I’m just an inconsistent blogger. Besides, maybe if I only do this every few years, I can delay the inevitable march of time.
I’ll start with a quote from Wil Wheaton. His birthday was a month ago, and he started his blog that day with a line that was too good not to steal. He wrote, “Today, I complete my 44th trip around the Sun. It’s only taken me a little over 16,000 days, so my pace is pretty solid.”
This year, I’m glad to report that everything is awesome. Time’s march has been on a level road. My religious friends would say, “I’ve been blessed”, but I’ll say I’ve had ease and success in life directly correlated to the effort I’ve put forth added to the sum of being born white, male and middle class. These days I’m mostly riding the waves from earlier effort, but the formula holds.
My stay in Midgard has been mostly enjoyable, though the bars here are stingy with their booze. If I had one birthday wish, it would be to find a bar/restaurant that actually puts tequila in its margaritas. If I believed in the magic of wishes, I’d probably have more serious wishes (a million dollars, world peace, Trump cancer, stuff like that), but I don’t believe in magic. So I wish to stop ordering beers as the only alcoholic alternative to sugar water with a salted rim.
So there you have it. The one thing lacking in my life can be found by just staying home. That’s got to be some kind of allegory, right?
Editors note: I’ve been blogging since 2009, and I’ve never shared an actual intimate thought or story. That trend doesn’t end here.
Before we had internet memes, we had sayings. Before sayings, we had proverbs. These were things like “a penny saved is a penny earned”, “two wrongs don’t make a right” or “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
The proverb I want to talk about is “a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts”. Honestly, I don’t remember even 60% of the things I say when I’m drunk, so I can’t tell you if that’s true or not. However, more than once, I’ve been enjoying my coffee and watching Meet The Press on a Sunday morning, and my phone will start blowing up with Facebook alerts because Drunk-Me posted something inappropriate the night before. Reading what I posted is often embarrassing, but admittedly it usually makes me snicker. In those cases, the drunk man’s posts were a fair reflection of the inappropriate thoughts usually contained in my sober mind.
Several months back, I found a bunch of Gene Autry songs in my digital music library. Apparently Drunk-Me is much older than I am, but he’s pretty tech-wise for a man of his advancing years. He’s also not averse to a little digital piracy. Most recently, Drunk-Me bootlegged all 6 Bing Crosby & Bob Hope Road Movies, even Road to Hong Kong from 1962, which doesn’t even have Dorothy Lamour in it. I don’t remember if I was being thorough or if I’m just a jerk.
Drunk-Me is a tech-savvy octogenarian with a rude sense of humor, a completist’s attention to detail and a lax opinion of copyright law. That’s the sort of guy I’d like to have a beer with. In fact, I hope to never have a beer without him. In the road movie of my life, Drunk-Me is the Crosby to my Hope. Or is he the Hope to my Crosby? Are we both Hope? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this level of introspection.
A few weeks back, I was at a stoplight on the way to work. In my rear view mirror, I saw a normal looking middle aged white man in a plain suburban sedan, methodically and repeatedly picking his nose and eating his boogers.
Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around me. I fell on the ground and heard a voice say, “Great Caeser’s Ghost, why do you still expect the best of your fellow man. This is what they are, a bunch of mouth breathing, booger eating, hairless apes.”
If you know me at all, you know I’m an optimist. I believe that when confronted with the worst, we rise to the occasion. I believe that despite our often cruel and evil behavior, it’s “the better angels of our nature” (attribute: A. Lincoln) that prevail. But deep down inside, I mean way, way down, I’ve always suspected that humans are a bunch of filthy animals. Racists, homophobes, wife-beaters, “mother rapers, father stabbers, father rapers.” (attribute: A. Guthrie).
Seeing that normal looking man in my rear view eating his boogers was like a secret glimpse into a dark place that I always suspected was there, but never knew for sure. But now, just as surely as Saul was struck blind by God on the road to Damascus, I was given sight on the road to Richardson. There is no hope for mankind. We’ve bombed the innocent, ravaged the climate and nominated Trump. From here on, we get what we deserve. Welcome to the Upside Down.