Sunday, February 23, 2014


[I have begun to subtitle segments of my journal from which this blog is excerpted for future organizational purposes, as seen immediately below. The blog posts themselves will take their titles from the posts as a whole. Having insulted your intelligence, may you still enjoy.] 

A Modicum of Expectations

1/ 28/ 14

One time on a dare when I was a sagacious teenager, I faked a seizure in front of a pizza joint to entertain some friends. What I mean by "on a dare" is that in my sagacity, I wondered out loud if anyone dared me to fake a seizure right in front of this pizza joint and nobody said no. As I found out several years later, my portrayal was poor in many key respects. Ah well. You live, you learn, your sageness grows.


Not only did I break down and buy some new britches despite my miserliness; I broke down and bought some new books despite my unfinishphobia. What happened was . . . I was given a $25 gift card to 2nd & Charles (a massive used bookstore) and went with the intention of getting something more luxurious than my usual basket of battered and deeply discounted books--mostly ones squarely-in in or quickly approaching "classic status".  Fine by me. But this was to be a splurge. Like a couple of $12 doozies--hardback instead of paperback (or paperback instead of title-page-and-final-page-backed). Or a $25 beaut--some best-seller or Booker Prize short-lister from aught-4 or later. I left with eight books. And 86 cents left on my card.

1/ 31/ 14

As house invalid during the attacks of Snow Kong and Icezilla this past week in the South, I missed out on the (already legendary, already depicted in constellation, already in post-production as a Sci-Fi or History Channel original movie) very real tales of misery and woe brought about by this crippling storm.  While my family made their ways from three points of the compass in an excruciating crawl, I monitored the immediate view from my window, kept tabs on the thermostat, periodically checked specs on the electric blankets, and, with Buddhistic equanimity, resisted the temptation to dig-in to the DVR recordings that I knew my family would want to see.

2/ 1/ 14

We all have limitations. Some probably spend more time thinking about them than they should.  I might. It's hard to say. It's easy to think that I might be especially limited, easy for being obvious.  Just walk a mile in the shoes of the person who has to walk for thirty feet behind me in a narrow hallway; put yourself in the thin jacket of the person who, in addition to not checking the weather before going out to dinner with friends, has elected to hold the door for me upon seeing me from thirty feet away caning-it toward the entrance at my top speed which now must to seem to him to be between no miles per-hour and backward.  I am clearly limited.

But what about the person in the hallway? Is her hurry blood-sugar related--actually urgent as opposed to my chronic molasses-syndrome. Or what about the kind stranger manning the door?  Is he actually
here with friends or because this is the only place left in town that will serve him alcohol as he tries to make new ones? Though not obvious at first glance, I can almost guarantee that they would think about these limitations regularly. Even frequently. Too much. They might.  I know I might.

It's a point of curiosity for me. What's too much thinking about our limitations? Obsessively probably is too much. Meditatively might be healthy. I cannot think of a way in which admittedly is not useful.  One thing I know for sure is that I spend a portion of every waking minute engaged in at least one of these modes of "limitations" contemplations. And in my defense and of those like me, I don't think time spent amounts to obsession necessarily, as long as there is a degree of daylight between one mode and the other, some extent of carefree elbow room between one breath and the next. Another thing's for sure: I am not qualified to (nor have the desire to become so) discourse at greater length on the psychological implications of the above.

So forget the quasi-science . . . here are a few of my pet obsessions, meditations, and admissions on the matter:

Neither I nor Miss Havisham could run away from an angry bear, but neither could I run away from an angry Miss Havisham.

Both my infant nephew Johnny Robert and thirty-nine year-old Jonathan Harold are prohibited from riding roller coasters at the amusement park based on signage wordage: the former for being entirely too much of a short-stuff and the latter for being too possessed of certain preclusive medical conditions. (Whereas they both might be equally reluctant to ride the carousel, sign or no, time will tell.)

Neither Stephen Hawking nor I can voice a cogent theory on black hole probability, but neither could I even formulate one.

Both Tiger Woods and I . . . wait, too soon on the last one? . . . too late? at any rate, both Tiger Woods and I may never hit another tee-shot in the fairway again--me certainly not for my career long mumblehundredandmumble yards, he just . . . well . . . probably won't.

And this particular pet is the most peeving of all but it's fortunately the least obsessed over too: I can no more run to save my own life than I can to save yours.

That bein said, if you expect to be rollin with me and mine, you best be joinin a gym, the NRA, or the Apple Dumplin Gang. Somethin.

An older poem belonging here.

Reprieve in REM

In my literal dreams, I can run.  Can swan-
Dive then swim then hold
My breath and drown.  Can resurface
On my own.  Can be
On a team, picked first for my capabilities—
Base-stealing, going long.
Can fight for myself, for my family,
Make fists
And jab.
Can launch, circle Saturn, survive
Re-entry, parachute, plummet,
Then swim, then hold
My breath and drown.  Can afford
To lose hope.  Can jog for fitness.
Can run.

1 comment:

  1. And the rest of us, in our quiet moments spent pondering our own weakness, wonder "Why could I have not been born with Jonathan's gift with the written word?" I may be able to outrun you in a bear-attack, which means you would be saving my life and a hero of sorts, but I could never write in such a profoundly poetic way that comes naturally to you, no matter the circumstance or the amount of time I was given. You have a gift.