Thursday, June 2, 2016

Nurse the Hate: June Afternoon

I got out of my car in the gated parking lot.  I was dressed for work, in my “grown up businessman” costume.  By all appearances I looked like a respectable member of society.  Through the fence I could see a college kid getting out of a beat up car with a female companion.  It was midafternoon.  He was dressed in a pair of torn up shorts, faded t-shirt with a headband keeping his long unruly hair out of his face.  Aviator sunglasses hid his eyes.  Based on his loose limbed motion and that of his girlfriend, it was obvious they had a full day of nothing much at all except maybe some weed and some lunch.  He had a small smile that was completely confident.

“Hey man.  Nice car.”

He didn’t say it as a dig, like “hey man, I don’t care about material possessions because I’m totally Zen”.  He genuinely just wanted to tell me he liked the car I was driving.  I gave him that “nod of approval” with the quick hand wave.  I saw a Cleveland Indians third base coach do that to a guy in the stands once.  I don’t know why I did it then, but I did.  I must have remembered it as an appropriate response for someone that wants to acknowledge someone but not get completely locked into a real interaction.  I started to walk into my building watching the slow casual manner the couple had walking to their run-down apartment building.

According to society’s value system, that young man should have been very jealous of me.  I appeared to be financially secure.   I was well situated.  I must have The Answers.  I was the result of all the schooling he was now involved in, a look at his idealized future.  One spends most of their life working towards The Future.  Don’t enjoy yourself now.  Toil.  Put off rewards for later.  Later you will be happy you waited.  It will all come to you Later.

Yet here I was jealous of him.  He was going to walk into his little apartment.  Turn on some music that no one has ever heard of but he knows is really good.  The benefit of free time is knowing bands off the radar that are totally incredible.  He would open the stubborn windows of the apartment to get more air flow.  Open one of the last green bottled beers in the refrigerator.  He and his girlfriend would have sex in the sleepy summer afternoon.  Maybe nap afterwards with that elusive sleep of total freedom from responsibility.  There is just that moment and it might last forever.  The entire day is a canvas of possibility.  Anything can happen.

I walked into the building.  Emails and calls had stacked up.  I had deals, gigs, money to send, money to collect, too many details to possibly remember.  Everything was URGENT!!!  Nothing meant anything.  I stared at a computer screen clicking buttons and creating revenue.  A half a block over was a young man doing nothing, theoretically preparing himself for a productive life.  In his apartment were books to memorize so he could soon join me in the workforce.  Once in the workforce he would realize that he needed to work hard.  He would have to put off all the small pleasures and sacrifice.  With luck, years from now, he might one day be able to have the freedom to spend a Wednesday afternoon doing nothing but lying in bed with a beautiful woman doing nothing.  He already had it all and I think that small smile I saw on him suggested he knew it.         


At June 4, 2016 at 3:41:00 PM EDT , Blogger Bobdontgiveaf#ck said...

In addition to being nicely written, I find this post rather wistful and.....dare I say it......profoundly touching. My question is, what the fuck is happening to you?!! Where's the "Hate the NBA Finals" post where you speculate on local sports team curses and whether or not Steph Curry is really an android designed and assembled in some Silicon Valley computer lab to completely ruin the NBA with his evil baby face and half court heaves at the basket? Don't go soft on me, man, I'm runnin' out of heroes.

At June 4, 2016 at 4:52:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Thanks for snapping me out of it. Hate filled shit talk on the way.


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