Saturday, June 09, 2012


For all my external bad-ass bluster I am a shy man inside, uncomfortable in crowds and happiest when I'm alone with a book. The downside, of course, is that no one likes being around a loner with a book.

So tonight I'm venturing outside my comfort zone and going to Lindberg's, the legendary local bar on Springfield's sketchy north side. Some great music, and maybe the chance to do some people-watching while pretending to be at ease in a crowd. It's one of five resolutions I've made for the rest of this year:

A) Get outside so I will quit staring at the walls of my apartment. I still haven't hung anything up, so it's a pretty boring view anyway, made more so by the complete silence (unless the upstairs neighbors are tromping around or the boys downstairs are yelling like stupid boys).

2) Stay busy when I am outside. I get to work around 4:15 a.m. and stay past 5:30 p.m. I love my job, but much of the reason for the long hours is to avoid having any down time. And I still have too much. Resolved: more activities, more of everything that will keep me away from as many still moments as possible.

C) Enjoy those still moments. I've been foundering in them — looking at my phone to see if anyone has sent a text or called. I wish, I hope, I daydream. Ay-ay-ay. Enough of that nonsense. It only roils my gut. I need to get back to meditating more, to once again find the space where I can think of not thinking.

4) Quit talking to el gato like he's a human. Today I actually had a two-minute conversation with him about the ethics of taking too much tuna from the sea, capped by the singing of Tiger's food anthem: T is for Tuna, and Tuna is for Tiger. Jesus, he's a fucking cat.

E) Quit worrying about the future. I have no idea what's going to happen. I know what I want to happen, but much of that is out of my hands, and anything I do to alter the course of events may only be counterproductive.

A mentor once told me the Parable of the Four Jockeys. He used a racehorse as the symbol for what we want most in life.

I have been the first jockey: the man who craves his destiny and has the capable hands to handle it. It sounds good in theory, but lusting after that future was a selfish weakness that drove me into becoming the second jockey: the man who covets that destiny but can't handle it.

I have been the third jockey: the man who doesn't crave serendipity but can't handle it anyway. That guy's worthless. Nobody wants a loser who doesn't want good fortune and can't deal with it.

Emerging from an especially tumultuous past week, I feel clear-headed and calm now. Hence, Resolution E.

I no longer thirst for kismet. But if it ever comes my way again, I'll be able to handle it with ease. I'll be able to ride that destiny and enjoy the view for the rest of my life. I am the fourth jockey.

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