I was once in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot having a smoke when he pulled up next to me. He was a nerdy looking type, blue collared shirt, glasses, child molester comb over. I watched as he reached into the back seat of his little Honda and pulled out “The Club”, the infamous locking device used for securing cars.
What I saw next was an exercise in patheticness as this asshole trued futilely to get the thing to work for him and not against him. Twisting, turning, smacking himself in the chin with it, leaning back between the seats so he could turn it around… he did everything to try and get this thing on there. After fifteen minutes, he’s finally got it, and so he gets out the car with his refillable Dunkin Donuts travel mug and ambles in to get his coffee. Two minutes later, he is back, and warring with The Club again, this time going through fifteen different keys trying to unlock it. All of this in suburban Wayne, where carjacking happen in fairy tales and Paterson.
Things like this make me just shake my head. This guy, this one asshole in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot, has proved that he’s completely lost with his life. He wasted twenty minutes there messing with that stupid piece of metal, and that is time in his life that he is never going to get back, never going to see again. That twenty minutes was time that this lost soul will never recover, and I bet on his deathbed, he will be able to think of a hundred different ways he would rather have spent it. At least if the car got stolen, he’d have had a story out of it.
Sometimes, people ask me, “Why do you smoke? That’s so bad for you”, or “Why do you get tattoos? They’re nasty”, or “Why do you drink so much? Are you, like, an alcoholic or something?”. I want to smack them. Others ask me why I weightlift so much- “Don’t get too big, it’s weird when guys are too big”. I never answer these questions directly. Maybe I’m like Kerouac, I say, in that, “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn burn burn”.
Or, maybe I just hate being boring. I ask them similar questions, of course, which make them as uncomfotable as they make me.
"Why do you have a to-do list and a schedule set up for next week? You might be dead in an hour. If it's not important enough for you to be able to keep it in your head, then it wasn't that important, was it?" No one likes admitting this, but it's true.
They'll follow it up with some prudish comment about how cynical I am, and then brush me off. Cynical? I think it's realistic, and it frees me from many of the things that hold them down. I don't care what happens next week, next year, or whenever, because I might not be around to see it. Therefore, I have no other choice but to live for today.
People like Club Man are people who never take chances, and have never even considered "living for today". He probably doesn't drink because he doesn't like losing control of himself, and he doesn't smoke because it gives you cancer (sshhh, don't tell him that you die anyway). He was so worried about his damn car getting stolen that he probably even forgot why he came there, or how good that coffee was, or how much he'd like to go to the strip club right now. There are more people like this out there than I like to think.
I constantly think about life, and wonder what the true purpose of the thing is, but I have yet to come up with any solid answers. However, the one personal conclusion I've reached is this: I want to live passionately, whether others think it's right or wrong. I want to live to the point where I stare death in the face; I don’t want two beers; I want twenty. Why? Because I like to. When I work out, I don’t want to do some pushups, I want to deadlift 500 fucking pounds. Why? Because I think I should be able to.
Most people never come anywhere close to their potential in what they do. They become mired in all the bullshit that life throws at you, they get stuck in middle management, the forget what living actually means. Many live vicariously through their kids, or, even worse, have their wives tell them how to live.
"Don't eat that, it's bad for you" , or "You had how many beers?", or even better, "Stop wasting your money".
How about this? "Go fuck yourself woman, I will do what I want." Might kill'em, but I say it's worth a shot.
If I'm not reading or writing, I'm weightlifting or going out. I don't want any dead time, I don't want any boring moments. I don't want to sit on the couch and watch TV; there's knowledge out there, ideas, revolutions, strippers, drug dealers, narcs, politicians, money... I want to enjoy all of it, learn from it, write about all of it, and smile when I look back on it.
I want the experience. Life is incredibly short; I found that out the hard way last year. We can die at any time, for no reason, and without cause. Life is not like the movies, the main characters don't always live, and there isn't a happy ending ever time. Because of this, it’s my job as a writer to live, to be at the heart of whatever is going on, because most guys are too tied down to be able to. I'm able to get the tattoos, to drink until I can't move, to get in a fight, and still find a poetic way to say it in the morning. Hopefully, if I do that well enough, some poor bastard sitting in an office reading this in between doing work and looking at porn is going to snap, and say, "Fuck this, this is my life, and maybe I'll live it my way."
I want the life that feels like you just took a double shot of whiskey, and it burns all the way down, and only warms you at the end. I've got a Jihad on being average, and I want no part of the safer things in life; it's only the ones that walk on the edge of the cliff and look down who can really feel that passion that no other creature on this Earth can feel. As another racous soul has said, "You got one life here to make it for the movies".
And, if I ever buy a CLUB... just fucking shoot me.