Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thoughts and Things.

Somebody should have Bill Conlin on suicide watch.  I'm just saying.

I cut my baseball teeth on his Daily News columns in the 1970s and 1980s.  Who knew the deep secrets he was hiding?  Nobody, which is exactly the point.  Football coaches, filmmakers, musicians and writers perform their craft to our admiration, while we go about our daily lives.  They are awarded Grammy's, Pulitzers and are admitted to various sports Halls of Fame, all the while concealing their hideous private lives.  It's long past time that we stop admiring people for their so-called worth to society and start looking at their work - and their work alone - when it comes time to awarding them.  Does it make Bill Conlin any less a sportswriter because he enjoyed fondling young boys and girls?  No. What it does is make him less of a human, and that is something to which we all should aspire to overcome.

Every night this week I have been on the road with a driver who has had his headlights off at the brink of darkness, which is now nearly 4:45pm here on the east coast.  I followed one driver tonight on the mis-named "North-South Freeway" (which actually runs East-West) its entire length; their shadowy presence preceding me on my trip home.  In my silent secrecy, I hoped someone would turn into them so that the court document surrounding their accident would include the phrase "driving in darkness with their headlights off." I'm a bit of a saddist sometimes.

It's three days and counting and I have managed to avoid stepping into a shopping center during what marketing people call the "Christmas Shopping Season."  Oh, if I can only manage Thursday and Friday, I'll have it made!  Meanwhile, I listen to radio and TV ads proclaiming that your gift tells that "special someone" how much you love [him or her]" and asking if you are "ready for the holidays."  Are we ready? Well, isn't that like asking if we're ready for a two-foot snowfall?  It's coming.  On Saturday, mindless fools will be invading the shopping malls and the local news will be filled with stories about those "last-minute shoppers."  Somehow, I feel both free and lonely.

I'm one step closer to abandoning the Christmas season entirely.  This year, I have managed to avoid not only the shopping but the office Pollyanna that accompanies the season.  It's simple, really.  Just drive past the mall instead of stopping in.  The $20 gift that I could do without will eventually go to someone else.  Some would ask how I could endure spending the holiday alone.  To those, I would respond that I spend the other 364 days alone, so what's the difference?

 “I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?”
– Charlie Brown about not receiving any Christmas cards


Art said...

Albeit sad and thought provoking your well crafted words certainly make a direct path through a thick mist that seems to know no resting place. Poetic beauty in its truest form.
As I will never fully understand your lot in life, I do somehow feel some of your pain. I couldn't possibly bear all of it as you do. But then again I chose a very different path. Perhaps many of my choices were made to avoid that world in which you reside. I said all of that to say this. You have been a great inspiration to me through the years, together and apart, there has never been a long span when you did not enter my thoughts and yes prayers. Lets not be separate going forward.

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