Monday, September 22, 2008
We'll walk along the water holding hands
This has been a disappointing rainy season.
The last time I was in Korea, the rainy season, or Jangma, lasted about a month and it rained more in those thirty days that it rains anywhere in the US during an average year.
This year, we’ve had a few light showers here and there, but nothing about which to write home.
I feel let down.
Not only that, but I was so impressed by the rainy season that I told everyone who would listen about how insane it would be, and now they all want to kick my ass for falsely raising their hopes.
That’s the story of life; we always arrive a day too late. Everything is in a constant state of decay.
You kids have it so easy these days with your Easy Mac and your Xboxes, and your cheap access to quality pornography. Why, in my day, if we wanted pornography, we would have to watch our own parents doing it through their bedroom windows, and we were grateful for it.
I guess that’s entropy for you.
Of course, if everything is always on the decline, then you are currently living in the greatest moment history ever produced; unfortunately, you were too busy to notice it because you were reading this sentence. Don’t worry, though. Here comes another one.
Knowing that every minute things are getting worse puts a lot of pressure on the immediate moment so that an aging hippy, trying to “live in the now” must constantly focus their attention on the slowly deteriorating condition that is reality.
People everywhere advise you to use your time wisely so you don’t waste your life, but a life is an impossible thing to waste. If what you like to do is nothing, then doing nothing fulfills your life’s goals; granted, there probably are few people who, on their deathbeds, turn to their loved ones and say “I wish I had played for video games” but give it time. When the Nintendo generation turns fifty, I’m sure it will become much more common.
Senior citizens who issue death bed recantations are not noble souls who caution the youngsters to make the most of their remaining time; they’re bitter fogeys experiencing buyer’s remorse.
While bland clichés like “Live your life without regrets” may inspire insipid managers to buy nature themed posters with bland slogans printed on them, life is nothing without its regrets.
In fact, the less you regret, the less you’ve lived.
Our lives are a series of choices that lead from one to another in semi-random patterns; until, finally, one of our ungrateful children makes the choice to unplug our expensive life support machines to preserve our dignity, and remaining, inheritance-related, cash reserves. Whenever we make one choice, we restrict ourselves from following the infinite number of other choices that could have taken our lives down different paths. Taking the easy way out and dumping the dead hooker’s body in the river caused you to spend fifteen months in prison, but that’s where you met the current love of your life, your cellmate, Vito.
A life well lived leads to regrets, and it’s not just the big things like failing to fuck the homecoming queen when she passed out drunk in your car, hitting on your wife’s sister while you were drunk at your wedding, or buying lots of lottery tickets and vodka while your children slowly starve to death, it’s an infinite world of possibilities on which you turn your back every time you do everything. Why, brushing your teeth extra hard this morning might lead to your untimely demise at the hands of a rabid pack of chimpanzees ten years hence.
Chaos theory aside, our personal choices, while appearing limitless and free, are actually restricted by who we are, with whom we surround ourselves, and the circumstances under which those choices are made. It might seem, looking back on it, that we were free to fuck, or not fuck, the homecoming queen, but don’t overlook the fact that she was only in your car because she lived next door to your plain, homely girlfriend; you hit on your wife’s sister only as long as you were reasonably sure that your wife, and her sister’s much larger, more athletic, and attractive, boyfriend were out of earshot; you bought lottery tickets and vodka because your children were, before they died of malnutrition because they were, ugly, slow witted losers who wouldn’t have amounted to much anyway with a parent like you.
Choices are not made in a vacuum, and, once they are made, you can never take them back; so, it’s impossible to live without a lot of regret, but to wallow in it makes it difficult to remember that every second of your life is another in a long series of choices, the outcome of which could make you a millionaire or land you in prison; however, that doesn’t mean once you learn the lesson, you should take it easy on people who haven’t.
The next time some senior citizen starts to tell you about how good things used to be in the old days, casually remind them that the old days, much like their friends, family, and casual acquaintances, ain’t coming back, watching your parents have sex is no substitute for double penetration pornography (unless you are a child of the 70s and your parents were into that sort of thing with their swinger friends), and it doesn’t matter how much it rained this rainy season.
Still, I guess that, living in Asia, if there’s not going to be a catastrophic flood to entertain me, I can always hold out hope for a Godzilla related attack.
Sex Mahoney for President
Currently listening to:
Heads Are Gonna Roll
by The Hippos
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