Empty Supermarket Sunday
Post Writing Note: This post takes some unusual turns…I’m pleased overall.
So there is, or was, a big football game going on. I’m being mostly vague because I haven’t the slightest clue when it began or how long it is going to take. My main interest in football died around the time I stopped playing NFL Blitz with my friends as a kid. That game was quite good on the N64.
Liz and I decided that the best time to go to the store would be when everyone is at home watching the game. So we left at 4PM (Pacific) and made our way to the local Safeway and Sprouts. Sure enough both were mostly barren, but Safeway was certainly the more empty of the two. Perhaps a matter of demographics? The average person who shops at a supermarket might be more likely to watch something like the super bowl. I haven’t a clue however.
Seeing empty aisles at a store in California is no less shocking than seeing an actual UFO landing in front of you. There are so many people in this state. I’m often wondering if California pays people to have kids, its like every square inch of this area is covered in people. It’s made even more noticeable by the fact that many people will run you over with their cart without so much as an apology.
I bought my first two packs of Dark Ascensions yesterday (fantastic segue), I managed to get 2 Mythic Rares out of a single pack and the Zombie Apocalypse I had planned to buy as a single. It’s a great start to a new set and I’m thinking I should get back to buying the MTG books to finish my collection.
I’m currently drinking some black tea with considerably too much honey in it, its sweet to a fault and I can feel the kick building up in the back of my brain. Once I finish this post I’m going to dive back into storybook and see how much more I can add to it. That is some fantastic software and I’m very glad that a friend directed me to it.
Totally unrelated to the topic (which is what?) but Twista and Busta Rhymes are amazing rappers. I can’t for the life of me replicate their speed or accuracy. I’m not sure which I like best, slow rap or fast rap, but for sure the fast stuff tends to amaze me more functionally. Slow rap does however tend to be much more informative, more thick themes.
So I’ve been thinking about writing poetry again. It’s been a long time, I realized that it has become incredibly hard for me to do it anymore. Why? Well mostly because I used to write about hope, about a better life I might someday have. Not necessarily emotional poetry but it was about a life I thought highly unlikely.
Now I’ve kind of got it, I’m married, have some sweet pets, a fairly nice place, enough money to keep up with my hobbies. It’s like when someone with millions complains about bills on television, it just seems weird. So while listening to music in the shower (Iphone+Ziplock for the win) I realized I could start writing poetry about my story world. Take topics from the view of my characters. Would be kind of fun, plus it can add to my not-so-hidden tactic of putting backstory all over the internet (most specifically this website).
I didn’t mention it 5 days ago but I’ve made it a full month! 1 Post per Day. I haven’t finished the Michael Pollan book I’m working on but I’ve been having some poor sleeping habits. Baby steps.
We had our company reviews this last week, the way it works at my job is each employee writes about themselves and every other employee in the building. We say what we think are each employees strong points and each employees weak points. I had thought I was the most critical employee in the building, and then I started talking to others about what they had written and realized something startling.
I’m a really nice guy.
When did this happen?! I remember in high school people called me an asshole, not everyone, but enough folks. How many of your high school friends still talk to you? For me of about 40-50 people I had actively talked with at my high school I think 3 actively have tried to talk to me since graduation.
That’s some damn poor turnover. I remember during a particularly cumbersome relationship period one girl who knew me had told another that “He is like fire. You get mesmerized by him, then you get too close and get burned.” I’m not getting all the words right, but the gist is there. A big part of it was that I absolutely hated myself, it wasn’t a matter of self esteem necessarily, I just couldn’t stop certain habits. Mostly being abrasive, I wanted to not be but it was a tough habit to kick. Junior high had murdered my innocence and I wanted to ruin everyone around me.
I grew out of it, remarkably fast actually. My parents had enrolled me into Tae Kwon Do and I was sparring every week. The training was therapeutic, stronger than any drug I’d ever taken, and fighting with people who wanted to fight felt great. I was placed into a situation where I was trading blows with someone who wanted them, not just uncontrollably harming people around me.
Sometime during this I had my heart utterly crushed. It was the only time I can recall crying for an entire night. It was certainly not my most proud memory. I remember that feeling of emptiness, just seeing this hollow universe that had once been full of so many things. Every little thing that had made up who I was had been crushed into a tiny diamond, an impenetrable fragment.
I decided that next morning that I truly didn’t give a damn anymore. That I wasn’t going to let people take me down anymore. There was no turnover period, no withdrawals, nothing, I simply crushed that past me and moved on. It was a remarkable feeling, when people say they felt liberated I’m not sure if they went as far as I did. I truly felt weightless, each step was like I was forcing myself back down to Earth. Without proper concentration I might have floated off into space.
Tae Kwon Do became even more important for me because it was consistent. I went, I had friends, and we all connected. I was surrounded by immensely talented people, smart people, funny people, truly wonderful people, and we all shared that Dojang in common. Training and fighting were the links that connected our otherwise greatly different worlds.
I never did do real well at tournaments, I’m very good at getting second place. I’m not sure that’s a talent that anyone really wants but I’ve got it down like a science. A big part of that was the environment, I was no longer fighting with people I liked nor people I knew. I was fighting with a stranger and that was not fun for me. In many cases it wasn’t even a matter of them being better, I was just utterly disinterested. Every tournament I ever went to was basically me fighting someone who wasn’t as good as the people at the Dojang, and most certainly people who were not as enthusiastic as the people at the Dojang.
At any rate, I’m getting off onto a ridiculous tangent. The point is that for a long time I was the most critical person I knew. But over the course of the last 8 years (8? Dear god…) I have changed more than even I realized. I’m so utterly uncharged about people, I see the faults of others far less aggressively than I once did.
The harshest things I said on my review paled in comparison to the things other people said. When I mention this I should clarify that I’m talking about the nice folks in the office. The nice people said meaner things than I did.
I’m apparently a teddy bear now. Maybe it is a matter of perspective? I used to have repeating nightmares of all the worst moments of my life, I consistently relived the events for months at a time. These days though, its just so pointless. It’s very similar to apathy, I could mistakenly identify it as such. But it isn’t that I don’t care anymore, its just that I care as much as I should given the weight of the event. Does the random jerk online upset my cats? No. Do they alter the water quality in my county? No. Did their commentary impact the tax rate for my income level? Probably not.
No that random jerk is a nobody, a spec of dust that will be lost to time in the very near future. They’ll die and basically nobody will remember. So if the world can’t be bothered to remember them why should I?
I’m reminded of how I feel when I see pictures of myself from High School, or earlier, and just wondering about the intermediary steps between that moment and now. The physical and mental transformation I’ve taken from then to now. In basically every sense I am a completely different person than I was then. It’s like hundreds of different people are living out short periods of time in the timeline that my name is slapped on.
I’m the collection of many other Mes, each leaving a few marks on the future Mes, some good marks, some bad marks, but each a cliff note that helps guide the next version along its path.
Yes, I think that fits. I feel a bit like computer software. With inconsistent updates. Sometimes a month, sometimes a year or years, till the next revision sets in and cannot recognize the prior. Online you’ll see jokes about people like George Lucas who once said that altering films is an evil act, and seeing them now butchering every work they’ve made. I might have before thought George a hypocrite, but now I see it as the current version of GL acting as he is designed to.
The prior GL that had made those statements no longer exists basically in the most literal sense. They died off and another GL took that real estate. The body changed visibly and invisibly, the changes are subtle enough over time to create an illusion of a single person, but each body contains dozens, hundreds, thousands, or perhaps incalculable persons over the course of its lifetime.
I’m beginning to wonder if that was Honey I put in my tea or PCP. Sure tasted like honey.