Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Game

When I was 8, my dreams weren’t dreams. They were goals. They were tangible possible outcomes to which each day was a means to that end. Being a movie star, a rock star, a famous artist or writer – these were within the grasp of my reality. As days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, these realities began slipping further and further from my grasp until the remnants could only be mustered up through fragmented desirous dreams of those wants which never materialized.

I often wonder: if today I met myself when I was 8, would he shake my hand or hang his head in shame? Would he even recognize me?

Sometimes things don’t work out. I keep hearing the same old nonsense. It’s always along the lines of, “Things will work out in the end.” There couldn’t be a statement more misleading or untrue. Sometimes shit just goes wrong. And as time draws lines upon my skin, I see more and more that this is the plain unequivocal truth.

Sometimes the good guys lose. Sometimes you fight the good fight for the right cause, passionately, nobly, with all your heart, and then you get slaughtered. Sometimes you do the right thing and it goes unnoticed, but then you fuck up one day and do the wrong thing and it gets broadcast on national TV. Sometimes you bust 20 times in a row, and then you finally get a 20 only to watch the dealer flip over his blackjack in sloooow motion. Sometimes you get that dream job but the interviewer gets run over by a car before the paperwork goes through. Sometimes there’s a 90% chance of recovery, but then death decides to ante up and then he catches that lucky river card. Sometimes opportunity knocks on your door, then throws a pie in your face. Sometimes you get that chance you’ve always dreamed of up on stage, and then you forget the words. Sometimes you’ll open yourself up and cry, and finally reach out only to realize that there is no one there anymore. Sometimes you’ll find someone who you think is “the one” but then you’ll find out you’re not their, “the one”. Sometimes you’ll find someone who you know you’ll never work with, but then your foolish heart will fall in love anyway.

Sometimes shit doesn’t work out. But if everything happens for a reason, what the hell does it mean?

Does it mean we should stop fighting the good fight? Quit doing the right thing? Live life without risk and refrain from the gamble? Maybe I’ll never go on another interview again, and if someone might die, there’ll be no prayer in my heart. I’ll just leave it to death without a fight. Should I leave opportunity’s knock unanswered? Should I let that stage get dusty from fear that I’ll trip? Does it mean I should never allow myself to open up, and will I never love again? Even if all signs point to “yes”, I refuse to submit to it.

Sometimes things don’t work out. But you’ve got to ante up and play your game again. And then sometimes before I fall asleep, the voice of that 8 year old kid haunts me echoing, “Well now, who’s game are you really playing?”

And I always answer the same way, “I don’t know man… I don’t know…”



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