I never expected to be 44 years old and jumping a fence to get into a graveyard on a cold December night. We were there to visit an old buddy who had decided quite suddenly and unexpectedly to depart from us 10 years earlier. I say decided because that’s exactly what he did – just up and like “see ya!”. And with one clean shot, he moved on to another space.
I have been thinking about my buddy Jason a lot because Pi Day was a few weeks ago. And on Pi Day, he used to bring over a variety of pies. Why? Because in addition to being a rather charming alcoholic, he was also a wicked smart math nerd that used to sit at the pub and discuss philosophy and religion. Wine, math and witty banter used to keep Jason sane. Which worked until it didn’t.
Ze Frank once said, “The process of creation keeps me a bubble and a half above perpetual anxiety.” I know how he feels. We all do what we have to do to stay sane. Some people paint or draw. I have one friend right now who is working on a cross stitch that says, “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom.” Another friend is busy compulsively making envelopes out of patterned paper.
Lately I’ve been cutting up magazines and pasting cat heads onto human bodies to make magnets and bookmarks. Weird? Eh. I don’t give a fuck because they make me laugh and more importantly they throw a chink in the perpetual anxiety machine that is my life.
Jason always felt out of place here. This town has a habit of looking at you sideways. It can be backwards and judgmental about things that really don’t matter in the end. This fact makes it extra important to hold on tight to those weird quirks that keep your head above water. Own your joy. Don’t ever let anyone else make you feel smaller simply because the thing that brings you happiness isn’t shopping or golfing or throwing dinner parties or whatever the hell it is that “normal” people in North Monroe do.
“Take off the mask. Your face is glorious.” - Rumi