Do you ever sit in a restaurant, or walk around a mall, and wonder if there’s someone there who coulda woulda been bigger than Springsteen, or greater than Hemingway, if they hadn’t made a stupid-ass decision somewhere along the line?
Needless to say, it’s a rare thing — and most people are just garden variety dipshits. But I bet we’ve all encountered a few coulda wouldas along the way. Ya know? Someone we’d post on Facebook about meeting, instead of them just being another unremarkable and mustachioed manager at Chili’s?
I sometimes think back on the various crossroads I’ve encountered, and wonder what would’ve happened if I’d chosen differently. Oh, I don’t believe I’m a coulda woulda, but I coulda been hurtled down a totally different path. And I wonder how it woulda turned out.
For instance… I was offered a position with the FBI in Washington DC when I was young and exceedingly stoopid. Would I be a paid assassin now? Secretly working the X-Files? Retired with a fat pension and a bunch of kickass stories? Deader than Kelsey’s nuts? It’s impossible to know.
Also, after I lost my job with Warner Bros. in 2007 we strongly considered selling our house here and moving back to North Carolina. Wonder where we’d be now if we’d gone through with it? There are many forks in the road, and I feel like we made some good choices, and a few bad ones. Maybe more than a few bad ones. Oh well.
Do you have any particular forks that nag at you, and cause you to repeatedly think “what if?” Tell us about it, if you don’t mind sharing.
I spent a few hours in the library yesterday, prepping for next week’s stay in the Yurt Village. And, once again, I was amazed at the level of noise in that place. I’m old, but not that old. When I was a youngling the library was quiet, always quiet. If someone DARED speak at a normal conversational volume, a woman would rush over, hold a single bony finger in front of her mouth, and shush the shit out of ’em. Right?
Not anymore. It’s just game-on in the modern library. Baseball stadium conversations, people laughing and cackling like they’re in the studio audience of Jimmy Kimmel Live, YouTube videos playing wide-open… It’s crazy.
And I hate to be ageist (not really, but I feel like I should say that), but it’s the old people who are largely to blame. They come in there and shout-talk, like it’s a community center. These people come from a time of extreme shushing, and now this?? There must be a battle going on inside them: I know it’s wrong, but fuckit I’m old; I’ve EARNED it. I will, by God, holler about lasagna.
Our library has a quiet room, if you can believe it. The whole thing used to be a quiet room, but they’ve given up the ghost on that notion. Now you have to go into a soundproof booth — behind glass. Those poor bastards look like they’re about to be called onstage by Wink Martindale in there.
I’m listening to Thin Lizzy as I type this: a band that I rejected for most my life, on account of snobbery. Oh, I used to be quite the snob… However, a co-worker in Atlanta would sometimes play their CDs in our office, and I was shocked to realize I fucking love Thin Lizzy. Since then I’ve procured most of their albums, and know them by heart. A great band, nearly missed because of prejudice.
Another one: Dean Koontz. During the 1980s and 1990s I would’ve NEVER purchased a Dean Koontz novel. I mean, seriously. They sell them at the checkout stands of grocery stores. I’m far too sophisticated for such common fare. Ha! Wotta fantastic douche. His books are a blast, and well-written, as well. Sometimes popular and shit are not synonymous. It took me a long time to realize this.
Got anything on this? Do you have the snobbery gene like me? Did it nearly cause you to miss something that you now love? Please tell me I’m not the only one?
I need to call it a day, my friends. I wish I could write about work here, because Friday was one of the craziest nights of my questionable “career.” Was it a full-moon? I dunno, but some kind of weird juju was in play, that’s for sure. Holy shitballs.
Next week I’m going to be in the yurt, getting my second book underway. But I’ll post something on Monday, somehow.
Have yourselves a great day!