Why Me Versus Why You

My car overheated today. It happened a little after 4 PM. I was heading North on Sepulveda Boulevard when I smelled something burning. I looked down at the dash and saw the little arrow heading up and cursed.

This isn’t the first time that I have dealt with this particular gremlin. First time in this car, but not the first time I have had to turn on the heat while driving a car where the temperature inside was already pushing 90. It was just myself traffic and my traveling sauna. Good times.

The location was bad. It is not the place I want to be stuck. That is not because it is unsafe but because inside the Mulholland Pass you have long sections of road that wind in between the mountains. There are no rest stops, gas stations, homes or restaurants to use as refuge. Just lots of road. It gets hot out there.

I know. I have run and walked through large sections of it. The heat rises off of the road and you wonder if you are going to come upon a chain gang working on the road. Except that doesn’t happen out here. You won’t see Paul Newman dueling with the man with no eyes. There is no failure to communicate because there is no one to communicate with.

What I Am Is Not Who I Was Or Who I Will Be. I See Possibilities of Opportunities That Can Be Realities.”

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are singing Summertime and I am staring at a different screen than the one you see. That is not because we don’t share computers but because what you are reading is a finished post and what I am looking at is the possibility of a finished post.

Of course there is a question about what that means…finished that is. When it comes to yours truly I see myself as who I was but not who I am. I see what I might become and what I could be. I see possibilities of opportunities that could become my reality.

That might sound like gibberish to you. It might sound like me trying too hard to be a philosopher. Or maybe it sounds like something else. I don’t know. What I know is that at this very moment 10:59 PM P.S.T. I see my life with the sort of clarity that I rarely have.

It gladdens my heart and soothes my soul. Really, I feel like I am in touch with a presence that flits in and out of my llife. For the moment my batteries feel as they have been recharged and I am glad for that.

When the car started acting up I talked to it. I told it that I couldn’t allow it to break down right then. I said that it was the mechanical equivalent of my steed and that I couldn’t very well ride into battle without it. I promised the car that if it got too tired I would push and or pull it up the hill and then jump back into it in time to coast down the other side.

Can’t say if the car heard or understood me but I can say that I got home in due time. I can say that tomorrow is a big day for a multitude of reasons. I don’t know if I am going to be online all that much so I will probably post twice tonight.

But in truth that isn’t just because I don’t know what the morrow will bring. It is because at this very moment, 11:04 P.M. P.S.T. I feel like I have found my feet and I have a rhythm that works for my words.

And when you have that feeling you just have to go with it because you can’t always know how long it will stay with you. It is like when you have the hot hand on the court. You keep shooting the ball until you can’t.

Be A Good Friend

I showed the video below to my son today. I told him that I want him to be a good friend. I told him that I want him to have the kind of friendship you see below.

He asked me if Spock died and I nodded. I don’t know if he saw the tears in my eyes. It is a scene that always catches me, but this time was more powerful than normal. It made me think of ‘D.’ In a few months it is going to be 14 years since he died.

Fourteen years ago we really were so much younger and so very different. I wasn’t a father. I was much more like the guy I once was than the man I am becoming. He was good that guy, flawed but good. The man I am becoming isn’t so very different, good and flawed also.

But so much has happened since then. I want to tell ‘D’ about so many things. He never got married. Never got to be a dad. He would have been great at it. He would have been shocked as I have been at how many of our friends have died, but this is how it goes.

I want my children to know this kind of friendship. I want them to know that some bonds are too strong to be completely broken. I want them to know what it means to make a promise never to forget someone and to keep it.

There is magic in the moment and music in the night, oh how I wish they could feel it.

This is part of Yeah Write #59.

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26 Comments

  1. pammustard May 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    My favourite scene in any Star Trek movie or t.v. episode. It was a good choice to show your son. As for ‘D’, that is a wonderful tribute to a friend gone but never forgotten.

    • TheJackB May 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

       @pammustard Hi Pam,
       
      That scene is simply outstanding, just never gets old. And ‘D’ well he never gets older either. When I am in my my nineties I’ll still remember him as we once were, he is forever ageless.

  2. michellelongo May 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    “And when you have that feeling you just have to go with it because you can’t always know how long it will stay with you. ”  So very true.  Excellent post.

  3. DudeOfTheHouse May 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    That stretch of Sepulveda is brutal in a fully functional car. Glad you made it home safely. 

    • TheJackB May 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

       @DudeOfTheHouse Thank you. I was grateful that traffic was moving. Had it been jammed I would have been stuck on the side of the road for certain.

  4. ladygoogoogaga2011 May 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Beautifully written…..

  5. vivpits May 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

    In Stephen Kings “On writing” he talks about how you are not seeing what he is seeing but through words he can paint a picture for whoever is reading.  Sorry about the loss of your friend.  

    • TheJackB May 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

       @vivpits That is one of my favorite books. I keep it next to my desk so that I can refer to it frequently. It is so damn solid- just love it.
      Thank you for visiting, I appreciate your coming by.

  6. MondaysWithMac May 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Beautiful. Thank-you for sharing.

  7. mayorgiac May 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Aw, I’m sorry for D’s loss. That’s hard, having to reflect on it and know what he’s missing…

  8. B4Steph May 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

    You’ll only see Paul Newman dueling with the man with no eyes if you see dead people. Entirely possible when you’re in between finished and not finished. Depending on who is looking. I am impressed by how prolific you are and the acrobatics of your prose.

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm

       @B4Steph I see dead people and not in a Sixth Sense kind of way. Cool Hand Luke will never die. 
      I just love to write. That is really what makes it so easy for me to post as frequently as I do.
       

  9. SensibleMoms May 29, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Ah, sweet clarity. You have to grab it while it’s there. Ellen

  10. CarrieSieffert May 29, 2012 at 7:05 am

    This was insanely beautiful and made me choke up at the end. It’s amazing what event – big or small – can make us into the philospher and the epiphanies we come to. I hope my children know that kind of friendship too, and will never be afraid to love that deeply – even in the face loss or the possibility of one.

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

       @CarrieSieffert Hi Carrie,
      In case you are interested I added a link to a story about ‘D.’ Those kinds of relationships are beautiful and amazing.
      I hope your children experience it too.

  11. Michael Wilts May 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

    My first car was a sleak looking 1980 Mazda 626. It was a manual transmission and I didn’t know how to drive it. My friend Kenny rode on a bus for more than 2 hours in the dead of winter to come to my place to see the car. He came over because he was more excited about the car than I was but he told me he’d help me learn to drive stick. I slowly got used to the process in our random travels, stalling occasionally but it was fun seeing him excited for our new wheels. Our travels took us all around the city. We laughed a lot when a glitch in the car surfaced. He would call them car pimples. A blemish that made it uniquely mine. I knew he was referring to the mine field of acne scattered across my chin but it was all in good fun.
     
    We headed for home driving North about to go under a train bridge. Kenny being the perfect co-pilot would issue instructions about winter driving and manual transmissions. Just as we went under the bridge approaching the uphill, the car died. Momentum carried us half way up the hill behind a few other cars which had stopped for a light. I panic and Kenny is laughing. Not with the tones of embarrassment but a full belly blast. I didn’t put the e-brake on so we started to roll back. He stopped mid laugh, turned to me and said with complete seriousness “I’m waiting to die” 
     
    I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard since. Car is in disrepair and we’re sliding backwards down an ice covered main artery in the city while tears of hysterical laughter smog up the windows. My car sucked but I had a good friend in Kenny. He would make the most out of any situation and knew just how to get me to lose control with laughter. 
     
    I haven’t spoken to or heard from Kenny in 20-plus years. Life does that sometimes. Takes you on different paths. I’ll always remember my car pimples and think of Kenny when an issue happens now. Friends have that impact, even when your car sucks.

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

       @Michael Wilts 
      Winter driving is something that I haven’t had to contend with, at least not in the snow. There is nothing like our first car. There is something special and magical about it.
       
      Glad you didn’t die in a snowy encounter courtesy of the winter wonderland. That story was fun and I love that we can tell them and smile now.
       
      Stories and the experiences from which they grow are important.

  12. Harleena Singh May 29, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Need to be thankful for each passing moment Jack!
     
    Yes indeed, accidents can be really bad. Speaking of which our family met with one last year, and I had nearly lost my life in it. Thankfully no one else was hurt, and within a few months I was back to normal, which otherwise wasn’t meant to happen. So, for me, each passing day is God’s gift in the true sense, and I have learnt to value and treasure it.
     
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm

       @Harleena Singh Absolutely! Gratitude is of significant importance and I work hard to remember to be thankful for all that I have and that which I haven’t.
       
      Because I could have more challenges to face and I don’t.
       
      I am glad that you are ok now. It sounds like that accident was pretty severe.

  13. Jennifer Worrell May 29, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Glad you made it home okay…there’s a commercial about that:) Well said!

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