Secret Pop

Feb 23, 2003

"God speed all the bakers at dawn."

I am happiest when people like what I do. I am quite happy, also, when people notice at all that I do anything. My expectations are not so very high.

I keep finding myself coming home late and congratulating myself on a good time but also chastising myself for the crippling effect my carousing will have on the day that follows. I have to be up in less than four hours. I know this. I knew it long before I made my plans for the evening. But the lure of friends and drink and bartenders who know what I order is stronger than all the sensible proverbs ever wrought. For now, at least.

The title of the story was "The Nail that Broke Too Soon." But the story ended up being about a guy called Giuseppe who grew inhumanly taller with every chapter and increasingly more menacing to the townspeople, who had been blinded by his shiny toolbelt. When the chapter began with me, I said, "Jesus fell from the cross with a thud. 'That nail broke too soon.'" And then I continued with the story of Giuseppe and the clumsy attempts of the townfolk to relieve him of his valuable accoutrements. It surprised -- and perhaps horrified -- many people, and I was proud. Which causes me to suspect that I am not above saying things just for the startled expressions my words provoke. This points to a disappointing lack of standards on my part, doesn't it? I garnered similarly uncertain approval when I pointed out how unfortunate it was for all those people to have died at a Great White concert -- a concert they were more than likely unwilling to tell anyone they were going to in the first place. I have always maintained that I cannot cross the line, for there is no line. Many would disagree with me. But they aren't people I would ever invite over.

My humor isn't always cruel. And it is often at my own expense. But there is a certain intoxicating sense of power that comes from not giving a fig. Unfortunately, I am seldom able to commit to this brash nonchalance wholeheartedly. I really don't want to upset anyone. That is sure to be my kryptonite.

Fueled by pretzels and Red Bull, I bested the night. The rest can only be listed in the column with the word "Comeuppance" at its top.

The desire to be content and the fear of same are the metaphorical pugilists duking it out inside of me. I wish one of them would just set decorum aside and throw a real punch.

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