6 05 2009

i just did a good job showering, a bad job shaving, and i’m annoyed because i spent an hour and a half a bit earlier trying to write posts that i eventually tossed into the “drafts” bin, likely never to be observed again.  i need to sleep, as i’m driving about 10 hours tomorrow to my next stop and would like to start early, but something about 2x failure is getting to me.  so now i’m totally going to complain, and i’m going to try to mask the complaining by claiming that i’m a disinterested observer.

i’m in charlotte, nc.  it’s not the most daring leap of geography i could have made on my drive out west, but i have a very good friend here whom i don’t get to see very often, so i’ve been hanging out at his place for the last couple of days, getting in some quality time before moving on to midwestern tornadoes.

now is the time to make my platitude:  where you are, what surrounds you, makes an immeasurable impact on your life.

incomplete, unthought out defense of platitude time:  well, if you like thinking about what others think about you, and if you like competing materialistically with thousands more like you, and if you like constantly trying to angle your way into additional funding for your rampant materialism, then south charlotte might be a very supportive place for you!  it might not be for me.

i know that sounds harsh.  and it is.  it’s not fair.  but it’s not without basis.  while out and about in this town, i heard more talk about investment properties, new SUV models and waffling on trading up, how to avoid obama’s tax increases for the wealthy, good financial planner information, ways to save on frequent international travel, and which spas offer the best services and most gorgeous decors than i’ve heard in my life.  you know, i don’t care that this is how these people see life.  i think it’s crazy.  but i don’t care.  i find it interesting, to an extent.  the sheer numbers of once-“hot” trophy wives driving around town in bmw SUV’s is baffling and utterly fascinating.  at lunchtime and after 5, the numbers of round, bald, white men tooling around in acuras and lexuses (lexi?) to meet their buddies to discuss their daughters’ golf lessons or to get home to their wives, who are presumably home and ready to go out for dinner at pf chang’s, is equally interesting.

but really, even though i hold none of these values, and believe that they have such material excess that it can do nothing but demand any time they may have otherwise had for enjoying their lives, just being here, being around them, made me uncomfortable in my own skin.  i felt strange dining in shorts next to their white-collar lives.  i didn’t feel unwelcome or scorned in the least.  i felt utterly invisible to them.  i started to feel that tinge of what all people feel–need for acceptance–and i started to consider that i would have to act like them in order to not be invisible.  my ambition would have to match theirs; my vocation would have to follow, and my car, and my hobbies.  i never intend to do this, but there’s no denying the clarity with which the bell that rung in my head laid out the map for me.

i love my friend, and his wife, and his family, and i’m pretty ready to get out of charlotte right now.

there, even if this one sucks too, i’m publishing it.  what a stupid leap of determined importance, to call posting this crap on a site “publishing.”  bah!  same goes for you, cnn.




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