Monday, November 28, 2011
--I GUESS YOU WEREN’T REALLY WHO YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE, WERE YOU?
…I have a new story, “We Only Do This On A Tuesday” up at In Between Altered States and here under “Words in Print.”
…It’s chilly on this side of the country, in this little patch of the globe. Thus, I have the small fireplace going in my office. Plus I’m listening to “The Smiths.” I’m not a huge fan of theirs, but I do like a few songs, especially, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.”
I have the new Drake but I am waiting until I get in my car to play it.
…This weekend was festive. I ate too much and drank too much and didn’t exercise or do anything productive, though I did laugh a lot.
I had fun.
…I keep realizing that it’s pretty important to have friends, a least a few who are active in your life. Without them, things wouldn’t be as hopeful. One night we stayed up until 2:30 am. I think a lot of humorous things were shared, although I can’t for the life of me remember any of them now.
It’s good to have people you feel comfortable and unguarded with.
…Along with 67,000 other fans, my friends and I went to watch our state’s two rival college football teams clash at mammoth Century Link Stadium.
What a place—with cliffs of cement, five billion slanted seats and a hole cracked through the center seam roof so that smoky gray sky can show through, rain or shine.
After all these years, I’m still not used to crowds.
I felt small and insignificant quite a bit of the time I was there, or while walking around the nearby neighborhoods.
It’s hard not to feel inconsequential among throngs like that, gigantic buildings like that with their towering advertising and shimmering squad car bright lights.
When you’re standing in line with two hundred other people waiting to use the restroom or buy a beer, you start to feeling a bit like an animal being herded here and there, at the whims of the crowd’s discretion.
At least I did.
A person can even start to understand the mob mentality that ends up rioting.
I’m not saying I would ever riot or loot because I wouldn’t, but I can kind of see how people could very easily get wound up, how a bonfire could burn pretty tall and for quite a long time.
On Saturday, one guy was lying on the parking lot ground trying to fend off policemen.
Another guy was wobbling down the road, barely being held together with help from his friend.
Others were shouting slurs and slanders against opposing teams.
And this was all before the game started.
It wasn’t totally out of control, however. Not at all. You can’t really maneuver that many people without order.
Still, I found myself being consumed by the magnitude, the scale of everything. It was intense, daunting and exhilarating.
Actually, I felt like an eight year old.
I kept thinking: People really take their sports seriously.
I kept thinking: This is very fun, but it’s not like it means anything all that important.
And then, inside the stadium, the guy behind me started shouting at the other team’s fan and I thought, Well, for whatever reason, this is quite important to him. His allegiance and this game carries meaning for him.
…We all have our biases, our passions.
On Facebook this morning I read a post from a writer I admire (who’s also somewhat renown in the virtual world) saying something such as: “I detest football in every form and don’t want to have anything to do with it. I despised being made to feel I have to like sports simply because I am a male in America.”
I get what he’s saying. But why so vitriolic? It’s almost no different than the boisterous fan at the stadium who is spewing his views at anyone close enough to hear it.
…I guess we all wear costumes and manifest who think we are by the way we play out our lives, who we engage with, where our minds take us in times of fruition or despair.
I guess there are lots and lots and lots of us and we are very much alike while being distinct and different, too.