Thursday, February 9, 2012

Luck Be A Lady

Let's get something clear right outta the gate:

I haven't given a @#$% about football since 1982. On that fateful day, Dwight Bleepin' Clark interfered with Everson Walls and down came every last Cowboy pennant, poster and promise. In a telling portent of my stellar judgment, I then chose to channel my allegiance to the New York Mets. But I digress, as usual.

Everyone loves the underdog. The New York Football Giants won a scant 9 games during the regular season, a figure I can only pray the 2012 iteration of my Amazin' devotion can match. Yet, here they are, world champions. The race doesn't always go to the quickest or the haughtiest, after all, but to those who stay the course. I like that, and it captures perfectly that whole "Rohan/Gondor" theme I touched on earlier.

I have to admit, though - when I'm done, I'm done. I haven't gone fishing since relocating south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2005. Not because I'm disinterested, but because I'd caught a fish. It was the Mother of All Trouts, in fact, and I found her in an otherwise nondescript stream in the Delaware Water Gap. I tied off one of those realistic silver-and-black minnow lures, cast it into the flotsam of a fall and instantly struck gold. Honestly, she hit that fast. I had that feeling of rubbing your last quarter between your thumb and forefinger, giving it to a one-armed bandit and half-walking away. You look over your shoulder, Mrs. Lot be damned, and BAM!, guess who's smiling upon you?

Nothing is ever going to top that, so I don't bother. I have the memory, and while the rainbow does indeed get larger with each recollection, the feeling remains as pure as the moment.

On the off chance you're wondering, I haven't the slightest clue what this entry is about. I have a thousand and one things swimming about the junkyard of my mind, and sometimes there's just no clear narrative.

Speaking of junkyards, one of my fondest memories of my Father was taking drives out to Cozze's and Kober's. We would traipse around for hours, and I used to watch very keenly how he'd interact in their offices. Leaning on one leg, arm on the counter, talking about mechanical things which will ever elude me. To a 9-year old boy, this was Gary Cooper sidling up to a bar. Who cared what the difference was between sarsparilla and rye, or carburetors and calipers? I learned how to carry myself, how to talk to men (and surreptitiously eye the topless girls on the old calendars nailed to the wall).

Getting back to the Giants, I've stayed my course, however stupid, humbling and gut-wrenching it's been. The closer I get to the horizon, however, the more difficult it's been to focus. I'd rather be alone than invisible, but on the other hand, I see Wile E. Coyotes who've painted tunnels on sheer rock faces flourish. Where's the justice?

Then it hits me: There is none, other than that which I choose to be. We live in a world where Americans drink donkey semen on a dare, while 1 out of every 5 fellow human beings has no access to safe drinking water. Like most else I see and hear anymore, I don't know to reconcile this with reason. All I can do is focus on my point within the circle and act with benevolence, compassion, virtue, kindness and honesty to all those who happen inside.

Curious: People often offer upon news of impending surgery, "I'll pray for God to guide the surgeon's hand." But what about today's ubiquitous robotic procedures? I don't hear anyone saying, "I'll pray for God to guide the hand of the Donkey Kong programmer who wrote the code for the cyber-scalpel dicing into you." A little consistency would be welcome.

In further evidence of the fact that I haven't the slightest clue as to what I'm writing/doing,  I'll defer to Alan Watts:
"You don't have to remember the past, in the same way you don't have to think about how to work your thyroid gland... you don't have to know how to shine the sun, you just do it, like you breathe. Doesn't it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing and that you're doing all of this, and you've never had any education in how to do it? Never learned, but you're this miracle."
 In my heart of hearts, I have to believe it's true