Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just a story

It's been a crazy, crazy week. You know, for the last 7 or 8 months I work like 60+ hours a week. Most of which I'm constantly on my feet. I hate getting a pat on the back, especially from myself, but you won't find a harder worker than myself. Anyway, I work hard for what I've got, which isn't much. So here I am, on my way to work. I stop at the conveniance store to get a pack of cigarettes. It's cold as hell outside, somewhere in the teens, so I leave my car running while I go in the store.

Flashback about5 years or so. I had gotten arrested for public intoxication and possesion of marijuana. All I got was a slap on the wrist and 50 hours community service. They sent me to the bus station to clean toilets and wash floors. One day there was nothing for me to do, so they told me just go outside, but don't leave. Being that this was in a not so wealthy neighborhood a lot of the homeless people hang around the bus station. I'm sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette, and along comes a man. Don't konw if he was homeless or just poorly dressed, but it made no difference anyhow. He sat on the bench and asked if I could spare a smoke. No problem. Being that I was the only white kid for miles he assumed I was there for community service. Good assumption. He proceeds in telling me that he had made some bad decisions in his lifetime, but things were changing. He let life get the best of him. He finished smoking and I finished listening, and he went about his way.

Flashforward. My friends dad was in the store getting his morning coffee, so I stopped to talk for a second. I get my coffee and cigarettes and head out of the store. My car was on the far end of the lot, which made me think twice about leaving it running. It's cold and early morning, who's looking to steal a car? Well there's somebody looking in my window reaching to open the door. I walk over and ask the man if I can help him. He turns to look at me and it's this same man I talked with 5 years ago. I never forget a person. I asked him if he wanted a cigarette. He looked at me like I was crazy. Then I asked him if he remembered having a conversation with a white kid a few years back. He vaguely remembered. I told him that I did remember, and that what he told me in that conversation stuck with me. And on the few occasions that I began to revert back to what I used to be he came into my mind. My life has changed. He told me that his was as well, but obviously had not. He appologized and asked if I was gonna call the cops. I told him not as long as he didn't take my car. He just looked at me dumbfounded and began to walk away. I told him to hang on and gave him a couple dollars. I got in my car and headed to work.

Two meetings I'll never forget. It's odd that this man and his story could help change my life, but can't change his own. I look at the punk ass kid I was 5 years ago, and who I am today and it's simply amazing the way people have an affect on one another. I'm at a point in my life where I don't fear another person. For all I know that man could have had a gun and a bad state of mind. If he wanted my car that bad, I would have let him take it. It's not that important. But what is important is that we make each other feel like human beings. I don't know if there's anything that will ever help that man change. I only hope that any time I come across him or anyone else in a bad set of circumstances I can do something. If nothing else, at least treat them with a bit of respect. I guess my point here is that we never know how someone can change us. Whether it's a motivational speaker or someone about to rob you. I'd preferr the later, there's more to their history. Don't walk past a chance to play your role in life.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Holiday Called Christmas

Christ·mas - A Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus.

This is the websters definition of this fine holiday. One problem though, I don't think this is the way that most who celebrate this day look at it. I, though unwillingly, am guilty of this myself. I buy gifts and go to the families house. But I hate it. I feel like I have to buy gifts for people, and it's like "what if I don't want to?". People get mad, or hurt, or whatever it is that they feel. But I don't get that either. People ask me, "what do you want for christmas?". I tell them "nothing", and they just laugh and say "that's ridiculous". They think I'm kidding. I don't want anything. I'm not christian, so I really have no reason to live by these traditions every single year. Well, according to websters that is. I was raised catholic, as well as my wife. Her family being a bit more hardcore than mine. I look at my family, and see them celebrating and I don't get it. My grandmother and my one aunt are the only ones that go to church every week. So they may have more of a reason behind the celebration. I never asked. But, somehow, I doubt it. It's just another time for everyone to get together and get drunk, eat food, and talk shit. My wifes family as a whole pretty much goes to church every week. Ecept maybe for a few of her aunts and one uncle. She's got a big family. I see them on the holiday, and it's everything I described with my family, but without the drinking. I'm not sure this is what it was supposed to be.

I see all the advertisments for gifts and all the loons in the stores, and it just amazes me. I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but in the U.S. people get really stupid over this shit. I saw on the news a lady getting trampled (as her wig flew off) as they opened the store doors on teh day after thanksgiving. Apparently they have good "sales" that day. People spend thousands and go into crazy debt over this thing. They decorate their homes and do the deal. This is a thing that consumes peoples lives for one month a year. And every year when christmas comes, I hate it. For one month a year I pretty much stay crabby. Plus the weather is cold.

Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with celebrations. I am guilty of feeling sort of good when the family gets together and has a good time. Now I have my son and I do enjoy finding a few things to buy him for christmas. But he will always know what christmas is. To me and the rest of the world. I enjoy getting a gift for him, because he dosen't expect it and thouroughly appreciates it. I think I'm not going to let him believe in the Santa Clause that most kids know. I feel that getting a child to believe something and then one day telling him it wasn't real all along isn't right. It sort of seems like training a person to accept what isn't real from childhood. My wife totally disagrees with me, but the truth is neccessary. Imagination is great, but only if the kid knows that it's make believe. If the kid really believes there's a Santa, it's no longer imagination. I'll dress up for him and give him a few gifts, all along letting him know it's me, so that he enjoys it. I definitely don't want him to miss out on enjoying his family and their celebrations. And him taking part in it IS imagination.

So, after my month and a half leave of absence this is what I came back with. Not that I have more than one reader, but it's all good. Life is still life and it's still all illusory. This piece right here is a perfect example of it. All I want for christmas is the truth. And truth is what this world really needs.