Monday, October 22, 2012

An SFO Delay, a Tampon, and Embracing Damage

Right.  Well, I didn't post last week because I was travelling and preparing for a new job.  And, I don't know if you know this, but it's simply impossible to find power outlets and Wi-Fi when you're on the road.

Of course it's fucking possible.  I'm not a dumbass.  I have no excuse.  Except that I was busy enjoying myself.  So much so that I completely forgot about documenting it until I was stuck at SFO for hours on end.

While waiting on a delayed flight, I started composing some chirpy little post about Hotel Del, SOME LIKE IT HOT, Regis Philbin, and ghosts, but I couldn't finish it because all I could think was:  Who the fuck cares?!?

Over, and over, and over, and over.  
And over.  

I'm not fishing.  That's not a pity party.  A simple statement of fact.  

I know, I know, if I care enough so will others.
Build it and they will come.

It sounds nice, I just don't know that it's actually, y'know, true.

So, still stuck at the airport, I thought perhaps I could use that blockage as a window.  Then I considered writing about the tension between being social and being social-media social.  

Then I nearly nodded off just thinking about it.

But, why not just drop all the social media and focus on the life living?  I've done it before.  And it was good.  And yet I always return to the updates, the tweets and the bloggy musings.

At that moment in the airport, that moment of blogistential crisis, I saw senior citizens traveling en masse with some young(er) guides corralling them from gate to gate, assisting them in the restroom, etc.  One guy stood out, and he was easy to track through the crowd because he was wearing a light colored, perfectly classic and fantastically broken-in fishing hat.  He had an age appropriate mate/date at his side, and they were chattering away happily.  He also had a tampon up his nose with the string taped to his cheek with medical tape.  My first thought:  What First Aid kit has a tampon and medical tape, but not plain gauze and/or scissors?  My second, and prevailing, thought:  That is pretty much the best any of us could hope to achieve.

The guy was able bodied and moving about with speed and ease, had funds to travel, the ability to pay bright and attractive tour guides to ensure his welfare, a lovely lady by his side, and he really didn't seem to give a fuck that he had a tampon up his nose.

Health, wealth, love (or something like it), and a healthy lack of self-consciousness.

Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Like snowflakes, we are not unique creations.  I've heard it said that there is a limited number of types of people in the world, and I'm beginning to suspect that it's true.  Is that a misquote of a lyric?  It sounds familiar.  Well, if it is, it just helps prove the point.  It's all been done.  It's all been said.  All of humanity is largely hiccuping along on a cycle of lather, rinse, repeat.  It's a delusion to think that each of us is something importantly unique simply because we exist.  However, we are very much like snowflakes in a different way, in that we become unique through our damage.  

Unfortunately, so much of social media isn't about the damage.  Not that anyone really wants to read status updates vomiting misery willy-nilly, tweets denying there's a bright-side to life, or blogs ignoring that joy is indeed possible.  It's just that, very often, our beauty lies within our fucked-up-ness, and yet we treat it like it's something to walk off.  Or maybe that's just me.

One thing I do know:
When possible, include Jack Lemmon.
Broken-in fishing hat is optional.