I thought if I waited long enough between blog posts that one or two interesting things would happen to me and that I would actually have a backlog of things to write about. Sadly, that turned out to not be the case. Quite the opposite, in fact. When I decided this morning that today would be the day I would post on my blog again, I had so little to write about that I found myself looking back through my archives of things I’ve already posted in order to plagiarize something from myself to post.
Is this, then, where I am in my life? Am I on that long stretch of highway where there are no memorable sights to see, no interesting little towns to drive through, no witty billboards to look at, no curious animals off on the horizon to comment on? Not even a cloud that looks like a frog playing tennis? Just mile after mile after mile of sagebrush and flat terrain and cloudless sky? And not even really a discernible destination to drive towards. Just driving in this direction because that’s the direction the road is going in.
I have often said that I am very thankful for the fact that, when I was in my teens and twenties, there was no such thing as the internet. There was no social media. There were no blogs. There was absolutely no practical way to get your writings in front of readers short of physically handing them to your friends or family and saying, “Hey, read this and tell me what you think.” However, nothing will turn you into a pariah faster and more assuredly than handing your writings to people. But though I hungered back then to get my writings out into the world, I am still glad there was no way to do that.
I cringe to think back on some of the things I wrote back then and imagine the horror of what would have happened if I had ever posted them anywhere for the world to see. No, everything I wrote on my trusty Olympia typewriter back then just moldered away in my desk drawer, never to be read by anyone (not even myself). If any of that had found its way onto the Internet, I would live my life constantly cringing and sweating and tugging at my collar nervously, living in fear that someone would walk up to me someday and say, “Hey, I stumbled across that short story you wrote back in 1982.”
However, I do envy the old me in one regard. I actually had things to write about back then. I had crazy friends that I did crazy things with. I had tragic, comical, and always one-sided romances with girls that I admired from afar (and who did not know I existed). I did crazy things like street racing, freight train hopping, cycling 40 miles on a whim in the summer heat to a lake (and this was before cycling was even a thing), jumping off of a boat in the middle of a lake while drunk off my ass so I could swim back to shore, sinking a car up to its doors in the mud 40 miles from nowhere on a freezing New Year’s night, etc.)
Then somewhere along the line we outgrow the craziness of our youth and become Responsible Citizens™ and we work every day for 40 years without fail because we were told that if we do, that would be cake and ice cream in the break room and maybe free T-shirts if there were enough to go around.
I always like to keep my blogs humorous, so here’s a joke written by 20 year old Me
A man slides up into a bar and says, “Hey, man. Beer me.”
And the barkeep says, “Sure thing, man. What kind?”
And the man says, “Anything you got as long as it only costs a dollar.”
And the beer dude says, “You know what you can get for a dollar?”
“No, what, man?”
“The hell out of here.”
“Man, you’re a trip! Gimme some skin!”
They slap palms and laugh and the bartender gives him half a beer for a dollar.
Here’s that same joke written by that same man thirty-some-odd years later.
A man walk into a bar and he says, “Hey, Bartender, I’ll have a beer.”
And the bartender says, “Here you go. That’ll be 7 dollars.”
The man pays him seven dollars and drinks his beer.
The bartender says, “Would you like another one?”
And the man says, “Nah, I have to get home.”
And the bartender says, “Well you have a good day then.”
“Thanks. You, too.”