elf and old times

20 07 2009

whether it is coincidence that tonight is my first night alone in three weeks and that i suddenly feel like writing, i do not know.  what i do know is that i had a full day of doing things by myself and that, by the end of that day, i felt i had news enough to share and enthusiasm enough to bear the telling.  huzzah!

news, you ask.  good question.  i mean it.  well put.  to answer your monosyllabic query with an equally brief response, yep.  now that that’s out of the way, i want to take a moment to talk about a moment.  i’m not one for living in the past.  i’m not satisfied to recollect past triumphs over a beer or two and talk about the good old days and call it a life.  occasionally, though, i will take a little dip in my oceans of memory and have a sincere smile, for reals.  i’m convinced that nobody else will find my evening as affirming as do i, but it’s for that very reason that it’s just as well that you’re not a clone of me.

to wit:  tonight, alone in mike and kelli joyner’s house in campbell, california, i had microwaved popcorn and beer for dinner and watched elf, starring will ferrell and zooey deschanel.  what a stupid evening, you may say.  well you, my friend, have a very tiny mind, and it’s locked in a world boxed in by brangelina’s adoptions and the jonas brothers.  of course it is a stupid evening.  but the fact that i’m so very pleased by it makes it a terrific evening indeed.  i’ll even tell you why.

much of my life has been spent on activities coldly calculated to yield an objectively reasonable return.  that’s fine, but i think sometimes that i was denied a spontanaeity gene or two, as i usually have ongoing projects that on which i fall back when my time is unaccounted.  i learn to play songs that i keep in a queue, or finish a book i started too long ago.  i generally try to spend free time constructively for some reason—even with others.

but a handful of christmases ago, when i was back in goldsboro with little to do but visit with people from high school who didn’t greatly annoy me, i ended up at a dude named amol’s house.  if you haven’t met him, it’s a-MOL, not a-mall.  i may have just saved your life.  anywho, at some point, we decided to go to the cinema and see the then-new will ferrell movie, elf, at the now-defunct goldsboro moviehouse, the litchfield.  i was reasonably happy with this decision.  and then i was confused when amol pulled his car into the winn-dixie, the grocery store near the litchfield, instead of the theater parking lot.

“mole man, what’s up?” i innocently inquired.  my insubordinate enquiry was met with a stern glare of the eyes and a lightning-quick smack to the jowls.  no wait, he just replied “beer, man.”  and i, confused, questioned him further.  “are we going to drink a bunch of beer before we go in?”  “no,” he replied as he pulled a six-pack of high life off the refrigerated shelf, “we’re gonna sneak it in and drink it during the movie.”

whoa!  this kind of movie-watching experience had never occurred to me!  and it scared me!  what if we got caught?  won’t other people smell the beer?  won’t the bottles clink in our pockets?  i actually asked these questions, because i was not well-versed in playing it cool back then.  amol dismissed my concerns and even offered to smuggle in more than his fair share of three if it would make me more comfortable.  i don’t remember if i took him up on it, which probably means that i did, and we snuck that sixer of high life into the movie, and we drank those beers during the showing.  and it was a great night in my life, even if i didn’t remember it as such until recently.

because it’s not a feat or accomplishment that makes life worth living.  it’s not how big your house is or to what school you went.  it’s not how many chicks you’ve bagged and if you got video of it.  no!  it’s about the dumb stuff you did just because.  it’s about weighing the pros and the cons and realizing that what you do doesn’t have many of either and going forth anyway.  because what matters at all, in the end, besides doing stuff that makes you smile?

and so i’m going to remember this night of remembering elf watching with amol while dining on beer and popcorn as a really good night for as long as i can, and, to rip off kurt vonnegut, if that isn’t nice, what is?

also, i have reaffirmed my little crush on zooey deschanel.  even as a blonde, i like her.

and in the end, i think it bears repeating, nothing matters in the end except what you’ve done that’s made you smile.  oh—others too.

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One response

20 07 2009
red poncho bear

that amol dude seems like a good fella. the kinda guy you’d want to sneak beer into a movie theater with at the very least. even if he does have to sneak it all in himself.

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