At the risk of coming off incredibly more conceited than the title suggests, even from an early age, I was made to think there was a difference between me – and those telling me – that I was somehow unusual. Harry Potter has had it happen to him. You’ve had it happen to you. It’s probably something that happens to all academics. Most of us have had it said to us at least one point in our lives, by parents (not mine), or a teacher, or our best friends and lovers. My parents weren’t of that generation that even knew they were supposed to be the beacons of inspiration to their children. Fortunately, as I’ve hinted at earlier, it’s not always the parents that warm your heart or inspire your mind to achieve beyond the sum of all your parts. Mine left this type of motivation to the outside world, to the streets, to nature, to God, and (most importantly) Santa, all of whom somehow convincing me that I was special. Although the latter rarely showed up.
I was led to believe that I was one step before short yellow bus, and a little close to being a very touching ABC afterschool… special.
Yep. At one point I was certain (with some scientific method applied) that I was psychic, possessed innate elemental gifts, a whisperer to the four-legged, and that I had a unique place in the universe. As child of the 60’s, growing up in the 70’s, such deductions were gotten fairly. With all the mojo and hoo-doo of that age, how could I have not eventually come to this way of thinking? Still, even though most of those hippy-based hopes have waned since my innocence crashed in 2008, there are still glaring remnants of it behind my smile, staring back full in the mirror.
So at least once a week, sometimes even twice depending on any “disposable cash” – and I am speaking in relative terms her, because my ducats are not, by any stretch of the imagination, ‘disposable’. Truth, I should be mentally insane right now, as penny pinchy as Jack Benny, and only spending anything when it’s essential. And then only after Congressional oversight. With my ‘disposable’ change, comes the purchase of a lottery ticket.
Sometimes it’s Lotto. Mostly it’s Powerball and Mega Millions. Never have done Scratch though.
An even line between narcissistic delusions of grand entitlement and distracted hope, the numbers are either carefully conceived or calculated, occasionally picked randomly en route, or they are derived from objects with digits beyond the 7-Eleven window. Aware that it’s almost a one in a 300 million chance of winning if I play, all those numbers would be reduced to total zero if I do not. So with that cheap preschool number two pencil (sometimes bringing one of my own, sometimes putting the number two because it’s the type of pencil) my vanity is then indulged. With this minute scribbler comes an existential confidence that I’m somehow chosen by heaven to win. Size does not matter.
After that deed is done. I fantasize about what I would do if I woke up a Monday multimillionaire. Those who took me in when I had nowhere to go. Those who gifted me with a coat for the cold, the people and learning institution to whom I am in debt, I would thank them and the Academy. Where would I live? Would I build or just buy? Would I stay where it is too very often rainy and gray? Would I, mere hours later, ride out in that R8, the one that’s taunted me from behind that show window? A road trip? Orthodontic work? Electrolysis? Hair transplant? There would definitely be yoga and a gym membership in the plan.
The odds are astronomical. But so is life. The universe loves me. There’s magic in my bones.
But what about these poor, unfortunate souls who actually won? I would hope to have a bit more savvy than that. Still, that delusional narcissism is in here. It hints that I may one day be there, either through hard work or windfall.
The work has been hard! Today was the perfect day, me doing perfect thing. Stars are properly aligned – somewhere. I am set.
It is now the next day. And though it’s not the first thing done, having taken a walk out for some chai with a friend who’s letting me couch surf a bit, at last the Internet browser is engaged, the beach head of the lottery page invaded.
Scattered on the sands lay the torn remnants of red and white shredded tickets, the casualties of torn dreams. The cold slap in the face of surf and tide reminds, with a sobering wet, that neither life nor universe is fair. The screech of a gull frustrated that its paper and not mana, suggests that maybe it’s about impartiality.
Why even contribute to the “poor man’s tax?” The motivation is quite primitive. Playing feels like hope. Maybe there are even varying degrees of faith, a faith in chance, along with egocentric conviction in one’s own uniqueness.
My needs so few these days, any lottery jackpot would be more than enough to reach comfort in retirement. Phyllis Diller (rest in peace) said, during her 2006 with Home Media Magazine, “Now that I’m really old, I realize one of the things it takes a lot of money to buy is silence.”<source of quote>
After watching that interview, that statement always stuck with me. Growing through a loud, often socially challenging background, the silence of libraries with sunlight and lots of alpine foliage is what I’ve continuously coveted. The rain is gone at the moment. Gold from the sky, illuminates the green all around me. Mostly conifer, some deciduous, it’s a welcomed kind of green.
It’s time to go about my day, mindful of debt, my soul chastened, not a muggle, and certainly not in possession of any practical magic.
With a new outlook in life, a death of the old, and a birth of the new, I’ve come to find my voice. I’ve come to notice more things that I had heretofore ignored or had just taken for granted, like most of us seem to be doing.
Yesterday, on my first Mother’s Day, I was watching the local news at a friend’s house, on whose couch I’ve been surfing for the past two weeks, and I remembered why I stopped watching local news in my previous life.
Local news sucks major dingleberry.
There was one report of a truck losing control and running up a ramp and injuring one person.
Yeah. That’s terrible. And it would suck to be the person driving that truck, just as it would most definitely stink to high heaven to be the person on the other side of that grill.
But why is this news? Why does anyone other than the immediate family members or the emergency response teams involved need to know about this? Either of which would have their own notification systems in place. So, what’s the point of reporting this?
Why would every other person, not involved with this need to know that it happened? If either person has a family or an ICE, no doubt they’d be notified. And as horrific an event as this is, there is no reason why I or you need to know of it.
Why is this news?
It’s an event that occurred that some talking heads have deemed worthy to bring into our living rooms, not to build empathy – because this is not the Age of Empathy at all, but the Age of the Villian – but to boost their ratings.
And you get a clear idea of the callousness behind this horse-toothed reporting when they boast of being “the first to report it”.
This is madness beyond reckoning. And it needs to stop.
And the scariest part of it all is: turning off the local news, lowering their coveted ratings, would only result in them “creating” news. No, I’m not calling out “fake”. But ala the Rodney King Riots and the irresponsible reporting thereof, I’m calling this out as being needlessly alarmist for the sake of them being on the air, for the sake of sponsors hawking local car insurance or second rate plumbing services.
Hey, we’ve all got to eat.
But my take: If it’s not relevant to national security, and overall public health and safety, or national politics, then we don’t need to hear about it.
This photo up top is of my temporary art table.
That is my bed.
That’s Archimedes in the background. He’s a little bi polar. He doesn’t talk or anything, but he’s been with me through thick and thin over the past 8+ years.
(He does suprisingly well in the spinning cycle.)
Sitting in his lap, (in the first photo) that’s another little varmint I picked up. I chose to name him Ros Ghoul. (the ears of some comic book nerd is burning right now)
Is it weird to look into the eyes of a stuffed toy and see within them a sparkle of unbridled joy? No matter what their caregiver may be experiencing, those things mirror the pleasure we have for living that I think at one point was within all of us. Those of us who are adults now.
Still, I like to think of them, Archimedes Polium (his full name) and Ros, both as horcruxes of the positive magic. (Harry Potter fan nerd-gasm happening somewhere now) All my best vibes into these guys.
Oh yeah, art table. Working on one of my heroes right now, two of them actually. I just went back to do a once over her (the hero) before the shading process. All four heroes of the team should be done by the weekend.