Relationships can be so difficult. There are the crazy family members, the sudden high school reunions, the homeless, proselytizers, a much younger, second wife, aging in-Laws, troubled directors, an angry checkout attendant, road rage, that damn GPS Bonnie over and over in my head: "Make a left. Make a left." Then John Lennon killing it all "Grooving up slowly...Hair down to his knees! Got to be a joker. Just do what he please." How can we deal with the mess? Do we even need to?
The other day I was talking to my youngest brother. He was on his latest adventure in making the next Justin Timberlake...
"I started an L.L.C. I am going to try and get some investments coming in, you know? We've got things moving," he tells me.
"Have you got a website? A business card?" I ask.
"Not yet. I'm working on it."
A thousand ideas roll through my head. I think about doing it for him: I could put it together in a few days. Then I get realistic: With what time? Who's life is this?
"Alright, bro," I smile into the receiver. "You got it all under control. If you need me to do some copyediting for your website, let me know."
"Yeah, that would be chill."
"I hear you. Just lay it to me two weeks before your deadline."
"That would be cool, man."
"Well, dude, you seem to have everything under control. I'm not the business wiz. Hit me up when you break up with a gal or something. I'm good at talking about the human stuff."
I put down the phone. I look at what I've written here. Actually, I don't. I don't ever look anymore. I just go with it as fast as possible. I remember that I am supposed to talk about how relationships are hard. I remember my example, my illustration, my brother. I think:
My life has been knowing when to let people be people. I get so involved in trying to help people I sometimes forget that it's not my job. I've actually got to make a living myself.
That being said internally, and now externally to you. I don't know if you would get how that sums up human relationships or not. There are so many differences from one to the other, but they all hold that same texture--ultimately, they are them and that's their job. They are doing what they need to be doing.
Questions strike, as "Hey Jude" blasts through the house.
(The cat hiding beneath the couch; I turn the music louder.)
Are you doing what you need to be doing? Are you happy? Can you do something right now that doesn't involve figuring out someone else's life? Can you stop trying to figure out your own and start living it?
(I start dancing in my seat. The cat tilts its head in curiosity.)
This morning I thought about Sogee. I could see her as a smooth rock on a seashore. Her hand and face this rock: imperfect and fitting under my cheek--And for what purpose? For how long?
Thoughts again to pull you away from the truth. Such is the poetry of inability.
People--every human being you might see--has their personal life. They're living it. You are living yours. You bounce off each other. Colliding atoms and stories. There is nothing personal about it. They move their atoms. You move yours. If you think of your atoms as better, smarter, or more entitled, you'll stop seeing and living simultaneously. People will become checkout attendants, angry cashiers, crazy aunts, police officers, troubled school teachers--who gave you these adjectives? Who said to stop seeing nuclear fission?
I am atomic. You are atomic. Break it down to its simplest forms: My lovely paramecium or protozoa. Move it into orbit--galactic distribution: aerial topography. Take it back. "With these ice caps melting down..."
(I am not my words. I am not that cat.)
If you could see a fish gasp for life before you ate it
If you could see your wife as a series of atomic particles
If your father drew his breadth from melting arctic snowcaps
If the homeless recycled spare change into drinking receptacles
If proselytizers held wakes for failed presidential campaigns
If a mechanic could add mufflers to exhaust a much younger, second wife
If your supervisor grew tusks
If an atomic bomb dismantled itself
If a troubled director replaced Tom Cruise with a mechanical bull
If an angry checkout attendant apologized for AIG
If road rage was only a quarter and better than pinball
If GPS Bonnie told you that you were hot
Would you make a left?